By Kate Hawkins ,Pamoja Communications Ltd, and Facilitator of the Supporting and Strengthening the Role of Community Health Workers in Health Systems Development TWG
We are delighted to announce that the Thematic Working Group on supporting and strengthening the role of community health workers in health system development will be holding a session at the upcoming Health Systems Global Symposium on “Increasing the voice of community health workers in building resilient and responsive health systems.”
Community health workers (CHWs) play a central role in linking communities to health systems and thereby making health systems more people-centered. This panel session focuses on the need and strategies for strengthening the voices of CHWs, which are essential in building resilient and responsive health systems.
The aim of the session is to explore what research, policy and practice can do to enhance the voice of community health workers in health system decision making. The session will highlight personal stories from CHWs in the field in various health system settings and experience of active engagement of CHWs in health system research.
Our panel has speakers from CHW organisations. However, we are keen to ensure that CHWs views, concerns, and triumphs are central to the dialogue. It is difficult for CHWs to attend events like the conference in Vancouver (although we are trying to facilitate this for Canadian participants). To support the process of inclusion, we are issuing this call for multi-media submissions – some of which will be circulated in the run up to the event and others which will be shown as part of our session.
This World Vision video is a good example of how short films can raise the issues that CHWs consider important.
Criteria for inclusion
Type of submission: We are interested in a range of submissions that might include but are not limited to; animations, sound clips, films, art, or photography.
Content of submission: We would like to represent a range of countries. We would love to hear more about how policies, programmes and interventions could be shaped to optimize CHW performance and enhance their role and what challenges might hinder this.
We are happy to use pre-existing footage. If you would like to produce something specifically for the session you could consider asking the CHWs that you work with the following questions::
- Do you receive supervisor feedback on the patient information that you collect?
- Do health workers regularly bring you together to learn about community and patient issues?
- Is your work formally recognized by the government?
- Is your work formally recognized by your community?
- Have any adjustments been made to your responsibilities based on your or other CHWs’ recommendations?
- Do you feel well supported to be successful?
- Do you feel that you have everything you need to fully succeed in your work per the objectives you’ve been given?
We will prioritise submissions in which CHWs speak in an unmediated way.
How to submit
Submissions will be reviewed by the Steering Committee of the Thematic Working Group. If you have something that you would like to submit, please email Faye Moody (Faye.Moody@lstmed.ac.uk).
Submission deadline: 1 October 2016 but we will share online content that is sent to us as we receive it.