REACHOUT (2014) Written evidence submitted by the REACHOUT Consortium, UK International Development Select Committee Hearing on Health System Strengthening
This document was written to inform the 2014 UK International Development Select Committee on International Development's hearing on health systems. The paper argues that close-to-community programmes are increasingly being initiated and scaled up in response to the human resources for health crisis. These programmes are providing an array of services which respond to health priorities at local level. They are often reliant on volunteer labour or employ staff who are poorly paid. These programmes have the potential to provide health interventions which are responsive to community level needs and close-to-community providers are uniquely situated to understand and react to gender and other equity-related issues. Yet they face challenges in relation to remuneration, sustainability and performance and workload management. To improve the function and the impact of close-to-community programmes investment is needed in creating an evidence base on supportive management of programmes, the equity impact of close-to-community programmes, the relationship between close-to-community programmes and the broader health system in priority setting, and the cost effectiveness of these interventions. Existing evidence from different settings should be translated and shared across countries and between academics, policy makers and implementers in order to improve the function of these programmes. This requires funding for multi-stakeholder learning platforms.
This project is funded by the European Union.