The unfinished agenda in community health: the design, governance and quality of CHW programs (webinar)

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This webinar is the 6th of a series organised by the ‘Community Health’ CoP.

It focuses on two key issues of CHW program and how best it can be linked with the community health system.

The first presentation by Prof. Schneider debates the following question: when it comes to designing, strengthening and governing national CHW programmes, should we be talking first and foremost about global “best practice” transferable across countries, or should we rather be focusing on national and local contexts of programmes and considering global evidence in the light of this (“best fit”)? This is particularly relevant when we have seen the recognized national CHW programmes – such as the Ethiopian Health Extension Worker Programme, the Indian Accredited Social Health Activists, or the Brazilian Family Health Teams, all having unique histories, cadres, characteristics and identities.

The second presentation by Dr Otiso highlights that in spite of investment in scale-up of CHW program the overall quality of care delivered by CHW programmes is variable across settings. Although quality is central to the new guidelines for optimising CHW programmes, they do not explicitly state how quality should be systematically measured and improved. There remains a paucity of quality improvement models applied to community health, and existing approaches are geared towards facility-based health care. The presentation will share a model developed under USAID-SQALE study, which has successfully integrated quality improvement in CHW programs to improve maternal and child health outcomes in Kenya.

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