Partnering to Strengthen Community Health Worker Programs

CapacityPlus and the HRH Global Resource Center have partnered with CHW Central, a new online forum that facilitates sharing information about community health worker (CHW) programming, policy, and evaluation. CHW Central fosters discussions, connects users to experts, hosts virtual learning sessions, and provides updates on the latest developments as well as a variety of materials, tools, and guidance on CHW programming.

Community health workers in UgandaCapacityPlus’s Paul Marsden and Rebecca Rhodes serve on CHW Central’s Technical Advisory Group to advise on the site’s content and strategic direction as well as highlight CapacityPlus’s CHW portfolio of activities. Marsden will help promote the integration of CHWs within an effective health worker team and encourage a focus on improving human resources management to increase productivity. Rhodes will contribute to the development of the site’s resource collection, connect technical experts from CapacityPlus with CHW programs to share knowledge, and provide links to materials from the HRH Global Resource Center, CapacityPlus’s digital library of human resources for health information.

Well-designed and implemented CHW programs have a positive impact on health outcomes, and far-reaching benefits for society as a whole. However, CHW programs can fail as a result of unrealistic expectations, poor planning, lack of integration, insufficient funding, and issues with ensuring sustainability and maintaining quality. The community is served best when CHWs are integrated within primary health care teams and there is a supportive interface between the formal and informal health systems.

CHW Central was developed through the USAID Health Care Improvement Project by Initiatives Inc., in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs and University Research Co., LLC.

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Photo by Bruno Benavides. (Community health workers in Uganda)