Community embeddedness for Community Health Workers functioning: a South Asian dialogue (webinar)

DFID - UK Department for International Development
Community health worker, Rebati, gives babies like Adilya, polio and other life saving vaccinations for at least the first year of their lives.

This webinar is the 5th of a series organised by the ‘Community Health’ CoP.

CHWs most often are members of the communities they serve, so it is imperative to have a robust community engagement for their functioning. Evidence has suggested that community engagement strategies have beneficial impacts on CHW performance, motivation, commitment, satisfaction and retention. Most widely accepted strategy for community participation has been seen in nomination or selection of CHWs. Recent WHO CHW guideline recommends for community engagement for CHW programmes in the form of pre-programme consultation with community leaders; community participation in CHW selection; monitoring of CHWs; priority setting of CHW activities; involvement of community representatives in decision-making, problem solving, planning and budgeting processes.In South Asia, with a long history of CHW programs (India’s ASHA program, Pakistan’s Lady Health Volunteer program and Bangladesh’s Shasthya Shebika program), countries have strategically aligned the community, which has often resulted in scaling and sustaining of the CHWs programs.

This webinar brings experts from this region to highlight mechanism of the community engagement process in terms of different community networks and local governance been used in CHW selection, monitoring of the programs and the facilitative role communities play in CHW functioning. The presentation also highlighted how better the CHW program can get support from the community. Future strategies aligned with the WHO CHW guideline through cross- country learning is one of the key outcome of this discussion.


Mayna (35) has been working as a Model SS (shasthay shebika/health volunteer) with BRAC-Health Manoshi in Kunipara slum, Mogbazaar, Dhaka.

Presentations :

Dr. Morseda Chowdhury — Community health worker: a story of four decades of Bangladesh
Prof. Kausar Khan — Barriers to CHWs as agents of change.


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