To support quality CHW program design and implementation, USAID, UNICEF, the Community Health Impact Coalition, and Initiatives Inc. have updated and adapted the Community Health Worker Assessment and Improvement Matrix (CHW AIM) Program Functionality Matrix tool. This tool can be applied at district, regional, and national levels to identify and close gaps in design and implementation and, ultimately, enhance program performance.
This resource from USAID and MCHIP provides an overview of large-scale CHW programs from 13 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Case studies address the historical context of CHWs, the health needs of the country, the scope of work of the CHWs, CHW training, support and supervision, and financing of CHW programs. The demonstrated impact and continuing challenges of the different programs are also addressed.
Community health workers (CHWs) have been proposed as a means for bridging gaps in healthcare delivery in rural communities. Recent CHW programmes have been shown to improve child and neonatal health outcomes, and it is increasingly being suggested that paid CHWs become an integral part of health systems. Remuneration of CHWs can potentially effect their motivation and focus. Broadly, programmes follow a social, monetary or mixed market approach to remuneration.
The role of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in improving access to basic healthcare services, and mobilising community actions on health is broadly recognised. The Primary Health Care (PHC) approach, identified in the Alma Ata conference in 1978, stressed the role of CHWs in addressing community health needs. Training of CHWs is key to developing knowledge and skills related to specific tasks and to increase CHWs’ capacity to communicate with and serve local people.
The activities of community health workers (CHWs) have been identified as key to improvements in the health of Iran's rural population. We explored the perceptions of CHWs regarding their contribution to rural health in Iran. Three research assistants familiar with the Iranian primary health care network conducted face-to-face interviews with CHWs in 18 provinces in Iran. Findings showed that Iranian CHWs have an in-depth understanding of health, including its social determinants, and are responsible for a wide range of activities.
This paper reviews recently published literature on community health worker programs, primarily focusing on maternal and newborn child health. Eighteen CHW programs and eleven relevant articles were included. It identifies key components of successful CHWs programs, reviews past successes and failures of CHW program implementation and summarizes important lessons learned.