This newly released report, titled ‘Practitioner Expertise to Optimise Community Health Systems: Harnessing Operational Insight’ examines how CHWs can successfully be integrated into national health systems, subsequently contributing towards efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
This paper explores the factors that shaped the acceptability and adoption of community health assistants (CHAs) into the health system at the district level in Zambia. Using thematic analysis, data was collected through a review of documents, 6 focus group discussions with community leaders, and 12 key informant interviews with CHA trainers, supervisors and members of the District Health Management Team. Results found a perceived relative advantage of CHAs over existing community-based health workers in terms of their quality of training and scope of responsibilities.
This document provides tools for assessing the functionality of two types of representative health groups: the Community Health Committee (CHC) and the Health Facility Management Committee (HFMC). Tools are available to assess program functionality through documents such as a roles and responsibilities checklist, assessment and improvement matrices, a validation questionnaire, and an action plan template. Specific resources are available to assess the support provided to CHW Programs including recruitment, training, supervision, and incentives.
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.
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.
The emerging field of mobile health (mHealth) consists of interventions that apply cellular phones and other mobile devices for healthcare purpose such as data collection, clinical decision support, self-care, and CHW management. This rapid expansion of mobile communications systems represents an opportunity to improve the productivity of community health workers in rural areas.
In 2015, the One Million Community Health Workers (1mCHW) Campaign and mPowering Frontline Health Workers (mPowering) conducted a series of interviews and held an online discussion, hosted on the Healthcare Information for All forum, on the need of improved data on community health workers (CHWs) to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Demonstrating that a health service, such as providing contraceptive implants, can be safely task shared to less highly trained workers is crucial but is only one step toward effective implementation at scale. Providers need dedicated time, enough clients, supplies, supervision, and other system support, allowing them to maintain their competency, confidence, and productivity.