Kate Hawkins, 11 June 2014

As part of the Centre for Applied Health Research and Delivery consultation REACHOUT, with a little help from some colleagues, has prepared a background paper to help guide discussions on close-to-community health programmes.

What’s in the paper?

The paper aims to identify some key areas where there are opportunities for CTC providers to support health systems in strengthening universal health coverage, and to consider their potential from social determinants of health and gender equity perspectives.  The paper covers three themes:

  1. It discusses the role of CTC providers as extenders of services;
  2. It considers their potential as social change agents and;
  3. It briefly reviews the need to manage CTC providers to support them in carrying out their roles.

What does the future look like?

The paper ends with a set of questions that will guide our conversations at the conference. They are a way of helping people identify the major challenges that will need to be addressed over the next 10 to 20 years and to think through future research agendas.

  1. What are the best approaches to assessing the extent to which CTC providers reach and meet the needs of  different vulnerable groups, including the interplay between different axes of vulnerability – gender, ethnicity, dis/ability, caste, poverty etc. (intersectional analysis)
  2. How can health system decision making processes and structures be better organised to enable CTC providers to inform priority setting? What is the potential of mobile technologies here?
  3. How can the accountability of CTC providers to their communities be best understood, enabled and monitored?
  4. What are the opportunities and challenges for CTC providers to support health systems and to better address the gendered social determinants of health at community level?
  5. How can CTC provider’s insights feed into and support inter-sectoral collaboration with different sectors (e.g. education, transport, livelihoods)?
  6. What are the best approaches to motivate, retain and support different types of female and male CTC providers in specific contexts? Does capacity development amongst CTC providers contribute towards social change?

I am sure that they will prompt lots of debate. If you have any insights that you want to share we will be Tweeting from the conference. Join in with the conversation!

You can download the paper from our publications page:

Theobald S., MacPherson E., McCollum R. and Tolhurst R. in collaboration with REACHOUT (2014) Close-to-community health providers post 2015: Realising their role in responsive health systems and addressing gendered social determinants of health, Background Paper: Centre for Applied Health Reseach and Delivery

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