Dear HIFA colleagues,
Thank you for your contributions to the discussion and welcome to those who have joined us in the past few days.
Recommendations 1A, 1B and 1C of the new WHO guideline (Health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programmes) make a number of suggestions on selection of CHWs for pre-service training:
Our headline question for this week is: How do these criteria relate to current practice in your country/experience? Are these criteria implementable in your country/experience?
We invite you to consider specific aspects of this important issue. For example:
1. What criteria do you feel are important in the selection of community health workers and why?
2. What CHW selection criteria are used in your country or program? Are they sufficient? What is your country/program doing to strengthen CHW selection? Do you have a successful practice to share?
3. What is the ratio of female to male CHWs in your setting? How does this ratio affect service delivery, especially regarding hard-to-reach population, such as youth-at-risk, substance users, or sex-workers?
4. The WHO Guideline recommends 'gender equity appropriate to the context'. How does your country/program manage gender (female/male) issues in the selection of CHWs? What more does your country/program need to do to improve CHW gender equity and service acceptability in your context? Do you have a successful practice to share?
5. When balancing the needs of your community and the level of education of the communities in which you work, what do you feel is the minimal educational requirement for a Community health Worker in your context? Do you have a successful practice to share?
6. What personal attributes are considered in the selection of CHWs in your country/program? Are these attributes sufficient to ensure a responsive and capable CHW workforce?
7. How are these attributes determined or measured in the selection process?
8. How might acceptability and respect for community health workers be promoted in your community?
9. What are the key work-related values and attributes required of community health workers? How are these atrributes determined?
10. What are the restrictions in place (if any) for community health workers in your regions in relation to age, sex, marital status?
We look forward to hear your thoughts and experience on any of the above questions - or indeed on any aspect of selection of CHWs for pre-service training.
Please email your contributions as usual to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best wishes, Neil
Coordinator, HIFA Project on Community Health Workers
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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG email@example.com