In 2014, the USAID Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program released the publication “Developing and Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs at Scale: A Reference Guide and Case Studies for Program Managers and Policy Makers.” This was no simple matter, as a team of experts led by Dr. Henry Perry authored 16 detailed chapters and a host of case studies that are essential to addressing key issues relevant for large-scale community health worker (CHW) programs. In truth, the Guide was quite helpful even for smaller programs, but its size was daunting.
CHW Central was ready to support an effort to summarize the chapters, making the Guide relevant to a global audience. We sought 16 authors with relevant subject matter knowledge. Over a two-year period, our authors summarized the chapters to tell the story of CHW programs, their needs, weaknesses, and strengths.
We gathered support from Harvard, John Hopkins University, USAID, World Vision, Partners in Health, Intrahealth, Initiatives, KIT Amsterdam, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and John Snow, Inc. The chapters cover the history of CHW programs, planning, governance and financing, national coordination and partnerships, roles and tasks, recruitment, training, supervision, motivation and incentives, relations with the community and health systems, scaling up, and measurement and data use. We will complete our task this quarter by compiling the summaries into one document, so others can benefit from our work.