WHAT WE DO
As communities and all levels of government geared up to control the COVID-19 pandemic while addressing entrenched health and social inequities, substantial federal, state, and local resources were allocated to CHW programs. This was a positive development since, when well-supported, CHWs are especially able to work with communities to eliminate the underlying causes of inequities. However, many new and expanded programs lacked guidance for successful program evaluation. Many evaluations focused only on clinical outcomes which, while important, overlook the underlying determinants of inequities. Most failed to measure the processes by which CHWs achieve outcomes, making it difficult to conclusively demonstrate the importance of particular CHW roles, skills, and qualities.
HOW WE WORK
For Researchers and Evaluators (Non-CHW)
Many researchers and evaluators new to the field of CHW research and evaluation are unaware of the history of the field, including a long tradition of community-based and community-engaged approaches.
To meet this need, the Center provides training led by CHWs and allies for these researchers and evaluators so that they can become more familiar with a spectrum of practices that include transformative participatory evaluation and community-based participatory research (CBPR).
Recognizing the crucial importance for CHWs to lead research and evaluation about their own profession, the Center builds skills among CHWs in two primary ways:
Academic training: The Center provides mentoring support (and through employment, economic support) to CHWs who wish to obtain master’s and doctoral degrees in research-oriented disciplines.
Community-based training: The Center offers popular education-based training in multiple languages to CHWs, to develop their skills as researchers and evaluators, while they continue their full-time work.
RECENT CAPACITY BUILDING PROJECTS
World Health Organization Global CHW Curriculum
The team at the CHW-CRE is assisting partners at Johns Hopkins University to develop a global prototype core competency curriculum for CHWs. They are providing resources and connections to core competency curricula in the US, developing a case study, and reviewing drafts of the curriculum. They are also highlighting the need to prepare CHWs to play a wide range of roles, including participating in research and evaluation and being involved in policy-making.