Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs
Despite medical and technological advances, half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services, and over 8.9 million preventable deaths occur every year. There is an acute global shortage of health workers, a gap that will grow to 18 million by 2030. Studies show that training high-performing community health workers can help close these gaps and save more than 3 million lives annually.
In the past few decades, many community health worker programs across the world have demonstrated their ability to save lives — including in the hardest-to-reach areas. Yet despite this progress, lessons on how to successfully scale these programs as part of national primary health systems are not widely shared.
This course, developed in collaboration with the Community Health Academy at Last Mile Health, introduces learners to the core concepts of community health worker programs, and explores what is needed to build and strengthen large-scale programs in order to improve access to high-quality health services. The curriculum highlights the key components of designing community health systems, addresses common management challenges, and showcases lessons learned from a range of contributors — from community-level practitioners to government leaders and other global health experts. Through case studies of exemplar countries (including Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Liberia), participants will learn from leaders across the globe how to advocate for, build, and optimize community health worker programs.
Upcoming start dates
- Self-paced Online
Who should attend?
Course delivery details
This course is offered through Harvard University, a partner institute of EdX.
2-4 hours per week
- Verified Track -$79
- Audit Track - Free
Certification / Credits
What you'll learn
- Core concepts in community health as part of primary health systems
- Key components in the design and optimization of community health worker programs as exemplified through country case studies
- How to advocate for community health worker programs with key stakeholders
- The evidence demonstrating the impact and returns of community health workers
- How to build coalitions to support government-led programs
- How to break down silos and reduce duplicative efforts in the wider community health ecosystem
- The common issues that arise in implementing community health worker programs at scale
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