249492 “Training is like a light. We can't do our work without it.” — Developing and pilot testing a participatory CHW training curriculum

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jill Hackett, MBA , Training Department, Partners In Health, Boston, MA
Peggy Creese, MSc , Training Department, Partners In Health, Boston, MA
Jenny Utech, MA , Training Department, Partners In Health, Boston, MA
Julia Noguchi, MA , Training Department, Partners In Health, Boston, MA
Amy Banham, MS , Training Department, Partners In Health, Boston, MA
Katherine Thanel, MPH , Training, Partners In Health, Boston, MA
Issues: The training of CHWs must address particular core competencies, while retaining sufficient flexibility in content and model of delivery to facilitate both national and international scale-up. Pilot testing a CHW training program enables both materials and the delivery strategy to be modified so that they are specific to local needs and globally relevant.

Description: A 15-unit curriculum for CHWs was developed and pilot tested at Partners In Health—supported sites in Haiti, Lesotho, Malawi, and Rwanda* to develop CHWs' core competencies in case-finding for treatment and related psychosocial needs for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Written and oral feedback from CHWs at each site led to adaptation of illustrations, word choice, and case examples to increase their cultural and social relevance. Program managers provided feedback on the feasibility of broader implementation of the program, especially harmonization with national Ministry of Health (MOH) priorities for CHWs.

Challenges: Engagement of CHWs, trainers, and program managers throughout this process requires significant time, management, and resources. Integrating a CHW training program into a national system requires coordination of training schedules with those of the MOH; alignment of training delivery with MOH priorities; and MOH approval of curriculum content.

Successes: Pilot testing revealed effective methodologies and strategy for scale-up within existing national structures. Stakeholder buy-in and involvement in the process were critical. The materials and delivery strategy were robust enough to meet the needs of all sites, while still allowing for cultural contextualization.

*Presentation to include multimedia example of CHW training in Rwanda

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the importance of a pilot testing process in facilitating scale-up and ensuring local relevance of CHW training programs across multiple countries.

Keywords: Training, Curricula

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work for the PIH training department collaborating and building capacity within Zanmi Lasante and local partners in Haiti. In this capacity I have been involved in all stages of piloting and materials development for Community Health Worker trainings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.