This article synthesizes the qualitative evidence of the effectiveness of lay health workers (LHWs) as well as the factors affecting implementation of LHW programs for maternal and child health. 53 studies were included primarily describing the experiences of LHWs, program recipients, and other health workers. Results from the review suggest that rather than being seen as a lesser trained health worker, LHWs may represent a different and sometimes preferred type of health worker. The close relationship between LHWs and recipients is a program strength.
Research has demonstrated that task shifting, including the use of CHWs to deliver care, can improve population health. This systematic review examines whether task shifting in LMICs results in efficiency improvements by achieving cost savings. The authors identified 794 articles, and included 34 in the study. They found that substantial evidence exists for achieving cost savings and efficiency improvements from task shifting activities related to tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
This systematic review examines the effectiveness of interventions aimed at increasing access to health services for children aged 5 years and below in LMIC. Fifty-seven studies were included in the review, and approximately half of studies (49%) were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. The studies evaluated a diverse range of interventions and various outcomes. Supply side interventions included: delivery of services at or closer to home (by CHWs, nurses, or school programs) and service level improvements (e.g. integration of services).
SPRING works to strengthen human resources for nutrition with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of formally-trained professional and frontline workers in nutrition, as prioritized by USAID’s Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy 2014-15. This collection of resources includes the latest news, activities, publications, media, and events on strengthening human resources for nutrition.
This review explores the current evidence available to assess if increased levels of integration of community health resources in CHW programs leads to higher program effectiveness and sustainability. 32 articles were chosen for an extensive review, complemented by analysis of the results of 15 other review studies. Analysis found no quantitative data and minimal inclusion of even basic community level indicators.
This handbook provides information and tools to address violence against women. Included in the resource is a definition of different types of violence, signs and symptoms to be aware of, consequences of violence against women, the role of a CHW in addressing violence against women, and situations for discussion. While the handbook was made for accredited social health activists (ASHAs), it is a useful resource for any type of CHW.
This resource from USAID and MCHIP provides an overview of large-scale CHW programs from 13 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Case studies address the historical context of CHWs, the health needs of the country, the scope of work of the CHWs, CHW training, support and supervision, and financing of CHW programs. The demonstrated impact and continuing challenges of the different programs are also addressed.
SPRING, in collaboration with USAID, has created a new CHW Nutrition Advocacy Tool, which consists of a series of PowerPoint slides with important data regarding key nutrition responsibilities for CHWs. Information in these slides identify current gaps in nutrition service delivery and advocates for increased commitment to nutrition in community health programs. Stakeholders can use these materials to identify which nutrition-related services CHWs can provide, prioritizes CHW responsibilities, and builds a stronger foundation of policies, tools, and systems for CHWs to conduct their work.
This review article explores the various definitions and descriptions of CHWs in the literature. It also identifies common themes in these definitions to better understand the essential characteristics of health workers classified as CHWs and to distinguish them from other healthcare providers. By describing the various categories of CHWs, this resource helps to clarify the use of the term to ultimately aid key stakeholders in community health program planning, policy, and research.
An evaluation of trauma-informed support, skills, and psychoeducation interventions provided by CHWs on depressive symptoms, dysfunction, post-traumatic stress, traumatic grief and anxiety symptoms was conducted in the northern Dohuk region of Kurdistan Iraq. Recruited community health workers included pharmacists, nurses, and physician assistants without any prior formal mental health training.