Why are innovations needed?
Community based interventions for improved health are having some great successes. Community health workers (CHWs) are playing an important role in reducing the number of children getting sick and dying from treatable and preventable diseases in low resource settings.
For community based health delivery systems to work well, however, we need innovative solutions for some of the challenges that they face. CHWs, for example, must be properly trained, supported and motivated if they are to carry out their work effectively.
CHW performance and motivation is influenced significantly by the community's appreciation of their role and responsibilities. Their ability to carry out their work as a CHW to a high standard, and their relationship with their supervisors are both key. CHWs also often feel misunderstood and underappreciated by their communities, causing them to feel demotivated.
Malaria Consortium is committed to finding innovative solutions for improving community health worker motivation, performance and retention and, by extension, increasing the number of children who are receiving timely and appropriate care.
Malaria Consortium’s inSCALE project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is committed to finding innovations that will support the scale up of CHW programmes.
The project is trialling innovations through randomised control trials in Mozambique and Uganda in order to inform policy for the scale up of iCCM .
Two different innovations were identified as a potential means to address some of the key issues affecting CHWs; one uses mobile phone technology and the other is community engagement based using village health clubs. To find out how these interventions were selected and developed, read our learning paper “Developing intervention strategies: innovations to improve community health worker performance and motivation”.