HIFA collaboration with GETHealth Summit and mPowering: How can we do better to meet the information and learning needs of Community Health Workers?
The key points from the discussion will feed into a special session at the Summit, chaired by Lesley-Anne Long, director of mPowering frontline Health Workers. Panel speakers will include:
1. Alex Little from Digital Campus talking about experience of adapting and using mobile content in Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and India http://digital-campus.org/
2. Anna Frellsen, Maternity Foundation, to talk about The Safe Delivery App, currently being tested in Ethiopia with plans to roll out with key players in sub-Saharan Africa more widely.
3. Florence Gaudry-Perkins, on the diabetes work she’s been doing with the MOH in Senegal
4. Trip Allport, Accenture Development Partnerships, talking about HELP in Kenya and potential to replicate in other countries.
5. Peter Cardellichio, Associate Director of Global Health Media Project, a USA-based non-profit that designs and produces video and animation to train frontline health workers more effectively in resource-limited settings.
The panelists will be asked to frame their presentations in response to the following context and questions:
Millions of people depend on CHWs for their care. Given the exceptional importance of these workers in health sectors a critical question remains: why are so many still profoundly undertrained and unsupported? It’s not for want of attention. Private sector, NGO and charitable partners are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into finding solutions to the world’s most pressing health needs. But globally, there continues to be a skilled health worker shortage, and with the MDG deadline looming, the pressure is on to enhance the knowledge and skills of the frontline health workers and the money invested in this effort continues to increase.
Is the global health community following the most effective route to provide relevant and effective health training for CHWs, or could we make adjustments that will accelerate the process of high quality training at scale? Is it time to start focusing on a set of freely available high quality learning resources that could be adapted for use by training institutions, NGOs, and others across multiple CHW projects in multiple countries?
Panelists will speak from their experiences and program perspectives to explore the potential to adapt content, models and ideas to support the learning and information needs for CHWs across continents.
In introducing and moderating the session mPowering will draw on the seven consultation workshops on the learning and information needs of CHWs that they hosted in the first half of 2014. The session will also be informed by the literature review mPowering commissioned on the use of mobile technologies by frontline health workers; and an analysis of current CHW training content and methodologies, drawing on research undertaken by WHO and the One Million CHW Campaign, and findings from the mPowering’s content survey. The potential of an online library or repository (such as the mPowering content platform) to become the ‘go-to’ place for (or Amazon of) digital health content for frontline health workers and their supervisors, and to provide a stronger link between content developers and consumers of content will also be highlighted.
The panelists will be encouraged to ask questions of the audience and the moderator will also facilitate participant discussion to ensure the session is as engaging as possible. We will feed into the discussion comments and views from the HIFA discussion that takes place in the four weeks preceding the summit.
Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator
Lesley-Anne Long, Director, mPowering Frontline Health Workers