April 06, 2017
Lusaka, Zambia

The Community Health Assistant (CHA) stakeholder meeting was held at Lusaka Radisson Blu Hotel on the 6th of April. In attendance were stakeholders of the program, including MoH, IGC, CIDRZ, CHAI, USAID, DFID, UNICEF, and the EU.

Dr. Caroline Phiri, the Director of Public Health at the MoH, provided a complete background and update on the status of the CHA program from the recruitment and selection criteria to their deployment.

Nikhil Wilmink, a monitoring and evaluation technical advisor with CHAI, gave a presentation on their process evaluation of the CHA program.

Nikhil Wilmink presents on the process used to evaluate the CHA program

He noted that Zambia’s CHAs play a critical role in responding to the health needs of their communities and that great strides had been made by the MoH in establishing robust and effective systems for the CHAs cadre, but that CHAs still require an environment that allows them to be effective which rests on supervision, medical supplies, and community coordination.

Andrew Secor, a Senior Research Associate with IPA, presented preliminary results on the study “Recruiting and Motivating Community Health Workers.” In 2014, an IPA research team led by Drs. Nava Ashraf, Oriana Bandiera, and Scott Lee conducted a partial-sample endline study of the effects of recruitment messaging on CHA performance. The team found that CHAs recruited with posters reflecting career benefits vastly outperformed CHAs recruited with posters reflecting benefits to the community in both work productivity and population health outcomes (see working paper “Do-gooders and Go-getters: Career Incentives, Selection, and Performance in Public Service Delivery” for details).

Andrew Secor presents IPA's findings in the CHA study

The current study seeks to follow the impact of the recruitment messaging longitudinally, including but not exclusive to: household health behaviors, population health outcomes, childhood education outcomes and motivations, CHA work practices and productivity, and task shifting at the facility-level.

The team aims to have an updated working paper completed by November 2017.