For the month of September, the One Million Community Health Workers (1mCHW) Campaign and mPowering Frontline Health Workers are supporting HIFA to hold an in-depth exploration around the need for improved data on community health worker (CHW) programs, and how we can meet these needs in the post-2015 era. Read more below and here.
CHWs deliver vital health education and life-saving interventions. They have made an important contribution to the major reductions in child and maternal mortality in middle- and low-income countries over the past 10 years. Several countries, including Ethiopia, Rwanda and, more recently, Ghana, have supported national scale-up of CHWs. There is agreement that further expansion of CHWs is needed globally.
Currently, information on CHWs - including demographics, deployment details, services provided, and service delivery – is inconsistently collected in parallel by multiple actors. There is clearly massive duplication and wasted effort, which leads to inaccurate data collection and utilization. This is the next challenge that we must work together to overcome.
Recently the 1mCHW Campaign and mPowering interviewed 8 senior decision-makers, academics, and program managers in a blog series about CHW data for decision making.
To each we asked three core questions:
1. What are the most pressing challenges in the development of scale-up of CHW programs today?
2. Why is data on frontline health workers, particularly CHWs, important?
3. In your opinion, what are the largest gaps in data on frontline health workers, particularly CHWs, right now?
and invited them also to answer one or more supplemental questions:
4. In what ways is your organization using innovative solutions to collect data on frontline health workers?
5. With better information and data, how could NGOs and governments overcome these challenges to improve CHW programs and programmatic decision-making?
6. How can we begin to close data gaps?
You can read their responses here.
On September 1st we shall open the discussion on HIFA around the same questions. We hope to solicit perspectives from the full range of stakeholders represented on HIFA: ministries of health, CHW managers, individual NGOs, and INGOs; frontline health workers, policy makers, information professionals, publishers, researchers, and more.
The results of this discussion, combined with the interviews, will be compiled into a short report and disseminated by the 1mCHW Campaign and mPowering. This multi-stakeholder input will help inform the post-2015 era of global CHW scale-up and we look forward to engaging your views in the discussion.
Please do forward this message widely to your contacts and colleagues and invite them to join the discussion via the HIFA website: www.hifa2015.org
Cindil, Carolyn, & Neil
HIFA profile: Cindil Redick is Manager of Advocacy & Special Projects at One Million Community Health Care Workers Campaign, USA. Email address: credick AT ei.columbia.edu
HIFA profile: Carolyn Moore is a Program Officer at mPowering Frontline Health Workers, United States. Email address: carolyn.moore AT mpoweringhealth.org
HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All) and co-director of the Global Healthcare Information Network. He is also currently chair of the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), a partnership of international development organisations promoting dialogue for international health and development. neil.pakenham-walsh AT ghi-net.org