Strengthening CHW Programs

Empowering health workers to improve health and nutrition services for males and females in Zambia

Elizabeth Romanoff Silva


Last month I had the opportunity to travel to Zambia to provide gender technical assistance to the USAID ASSIST-supported nutrition assessment, counseling and support (NACS) services. Gender inequality is a major factor affecting vulnerability to malnutrition, especially for people living with HIV, so I was especially interested in working with health workers to identify the different issues preventing males and females from accessing services, issues affecting their nutrition status, and to identify the root causes preventing improved nutrition among women, men, girls and boys, and developing changes to test to find solutions.

Challenges facing the ASHA female community health workers, a vital part of the health system in India

Enisha Sarin

Senior Research and Evaluation Advisor, India, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

This blog was originally published in December by ASSIST India staff member Enisha Sarin. This blog is being reposted today to commemorate World Health Worker Week (April 5-11).

The USAID ASSIST India Project is working in 27 high priority districts along the RMNCH+A continuum.  As we moved from facility to community-based quality improvement, we wanted to understand the challenges faced by ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activist), a cadre of community health workers with whom we would closely engage in improvement work and resources they have in their health promotion work. We decided to undertake a qualitative investigation, interviewing 49 ASHAs and their family members (34 spouses, 13 mothers-in-law, one sister-in-law and one son) in two districts from June to July 2014.

Supporting close-to-community providers through a community health system approach: case examples from Ethiopia and Tanzania

This Case Study, published in Human Resources for Health (2015) 13:12, describes how the Community Health System Strengthening model, developed with support from PEPFAR as a strategy to improve community health worker performance, was applied in Ethiopia and Tanzania to increase HIV testing and enrollment and retention in care.

A Community Health Worker “logic model”: towards a theory of enhanced performance in low- and middle-income countries

This article published in Human Resources for Health (2014; 12:56  doi:10.1186/1478-4491-12-56) describes a generic logic model for community health worker (CHW) performance that posits that optimal CHW performance is a function of high quality CHW programming, which is reinforced, sustained, and brought to scale by robust, high-performing health and community systems, both of which mobilize inputs and put in place processes needed to fully achieve performance objectives.

USAID ASSIST Project Experience Improving HIV Services

This technical report summarizes the experience of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project and its predecessor, the USAID Health Care Improvement Project, improving HIV services with support from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).