Practitioner Expertise to Optimize Community Health Systems

Harnessing Operational Insight

by Madeleine Ballard, Ryan Schwarz, Ari Johnson et al.
Community Health Worker Impact, USA, 2017

36 pp. 2.5 MB
http://www.hivsharespace.net/system/files/Practitioner-Expertise-to-Optimize-
Community-Health-Systems.pdf

To harness the potential of community health workers (CHWs) to extend health services to poor and marginalized populations the authors argue that there is a need to better understand how CHW programs can be optimized. This paper presents the experience of and insights from application by selected organizations that have developed high-impact CHW programs with governments and communities in different countries globally. They present a series of design principles that, in their experience, drive programmatic quality and are debated or not commonly found in programs across the globe: CHWs must meet minimum standards before working; point of care fees should be avoided when possible; CHWs should go door to door and provide training on when to seek help; continuing training should be a requirement; CHWs should benefit from a dedicated supervisor and be paid and should be part of a strong local health system and data feedback loops.

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