Community Health Workers (CHWs) provide a critical and essential link with health systems and are a powerful force for promoting healthy behaviors in resource-constrained settings. During the past decade, there has been an explosion of evidence and interest concerning community health workers and their potential for improving the health of populations where health workforce resources are limited. Given the massive shortage of health workers in Africa and Asia – recently estimated to be 4.25 million workers– the inequitable distribution of health workers within countries, and the need to accelerate progress in achieving the MDGS for health, it is essential to take stock of the current body of evidence. This document serves to provide an update and supplement to the extensive review carried out by Bhutta and colleagues under the auspices of the World Health Organization and the Global Health Workforce Alliance in 2010.
Included as an attachment to this report is the summary of a literature review that John Hopkins University prepared on the topic of: “How effective are community health workers?” Information is complemented by information and a framework on CHW effectiveness that the MDG Health Alliance prepared with Dalberg Global Development Advisors. This piece of work is meant to complement the extensive CHW review carried out by Bhutta and colleagues under the auspices of the WHO and GHWA in 2010.
Authors: Henry Perry and Rose Zulliger, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Resource Type: Research