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March 13, 2015

Dear Colleagues,
Please find attached a summary report of the deliberations and outcomes of the MCSP
Community Health Worker (CHW) Forum held on November 12, 2014. As one of many players
in the field of Community Health, both in the USAID sphere and globally, the Maternal and
Child Survival Program has a high interest in ensuring community health worker (CHW) efforts
are successful and sustainable at scale. This forum brought together 41 participants from over
20 organizations including program planners, technical advisors, implementers, researchers,
donors, and evaluatorsinvolved in CHW programming to contribute their thinking to three
related objectives: 1) Consider the context of needs for communication on CHW issues. In
particular, what information is needed in terms of CHW roles, trainings, credentials, and
services; 2) Review the CHW Reference Guide and consider the content, suggest amendments,
and provide suggestions for effective and creative dissemination of the guide; and 3) Take
advantage of this gathering to continue promoting shared knowledge and connections between
various organizations and efforts regarding CHW programming. The full meeting proceedings
report can be found at
We thank those of you who participated in this forum. This document provides all of us with
data that can help us better collaborate in developing, implementing and evaluating programs,
tools and resources that contribute to a common vision of effective and sustainable CHW
programs. The summary report highlights participants general recommendations followed by
deliberations in each of four parts of the meeting:

a. Information and Communication Needs about CHW Issues

b. Definition of a CHW
c. Dissemination of the CHW Reference Guide and Case Studies
d. Partners Updates and Tools
The CHW Reference Guide is available at All
partners are welcomed to use and adapt the information to make interactive, easy-to-use, visual
tools that are appropriate for different audiences. The Maternal and Child Survival Program
(MCSP) is disseminating the CHW Reference Guide to USAID Missions and at the World
Federation of Public Health Associations. Technical support for implementing the guide within
country programs also is available through MCSP.

USAID Grantee
1776 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
tel: 202.835.3100 fax: 202.835.3150

Since the forum, MCSP has undertaken a number of activities to advance CHW programming as
part of its Community Health workplan. Here are some highlights:
Global Leadership and Technical Support

Disseminating the CHW Reference Guide

Developing a CHW Task, Capacity, and Coverage Forecasting Tool with Avenir Health
using an Excel platform.
Supporting the USAID Child Survival and Health Grants Program to disseminate grantee
engagement and learning from work with CHWs.
Disseminating a Guide for Policymakers and Donors on Care Groups An Effective
Community-based Delivery Strategy for Improving Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and
Child Heath in High-Mortality, Resource-Constrained Settings.


Working with Advancing Partners & Communities to update its Community Health Systems
Catalogue with information on maternal, newborn and child health interventions in highpriority ending preventable child and maternal death countries.
Liaising with the Global Health Workforce Alliance, Frontline Health Workers Coalition and
mPowering Frontline Health Workers to gain clarity on a CHW definition and categorization
of different cadre, with a focus to have at least a dual cadre system (full-time civil-service
cadre, and part-time volunteer cadre) that is part of the social fabric of the community.
Discussing the development of a side session on CHWs at the 2016 Health Systems Research
Conference with other interested partners.

We hope this will inform continued action and discussions and thank you again for your

Eric Sarriot
Community Health and Civil Society
Engagement Team Lead

Karen LeBan
Community Health and Civil Society
Engagement Team and CORE Group
Executive Director