Health _global _2

Kate Hawkins, 10 June 2014

We are delighted that Maryse Kok and Herman Ormel from the REACHOUT team will be participating in the first of a webinar series from Health Systems Global. The topic of the webinar is the evidence base for close-to-community health programmes and it will be held on I July at 15.00 CET.

To register for the webinar click here

Community health workers (CHW) are receiving growing attention as programmes led by governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are implemented around the world. This webinar will ask: As countries scale up CHW programmes, where is a stronger evidence base needed to support policy development and programmes? How can existing evidence be better translated into action?

Join us for a lively panel discussion where you can hear more about:

  • CHW commitment at the 3rd Global HRH Forum, with an emphasis on expanding the evidence base for CHW programmes.
  • The NGO community’s CHW Principles of Practice and its focus on supporting CHW research.
  • Challenges faced by national CHW programmes in a range of African and Asian countries, and the alignment of research to these real world problems.
  • A new reference guide on large-scale development and strengthening of CHW programmes.


  • Diana Frymus, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Maryse Kok, Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)
  • Herman Ormel, REACHOUT Consortium
  • Polly Walker, World Vision
  • Henry Perry, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

This webinar is free. It is organized by the Health Systems Global Thematic Working Group on supporting and strengthening the role of community health workers in health system development. To find out more about/join this group, please contact Faye Moody ( or visit

To register for the webinar click here

Speaker biographies

Maryse Kok

Maryse Kok is a public health specialist, currently working as researcher on health systems at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She started her career in policy advice at national and international level. After this, she worked for three years in Malawi at the district level in management and coordination of curative and preventive health services. She worked on improving supervision structures and performance appraisal for community health workers. She is working on a PhD at the Free University of Amsterdam, in coordination with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. She is conducting research on factors influencing performance of community health workers in six countries in Asia and Africa, with a focus on Ethiopia and Malawi.

Henry Perry

Henry Perry is a Senior Associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His primary research interest is in the impact of community-based primary health care programmes on health improvement, especially on the health of mothers and children. He has a broad interest in primary health care and community-oriented public health, community participation, and equity and empowerment. Recently, he has been engaged in research on summarizing the evidence regarding the effectiveness of community health worker programmes. He recently led an Evidence Review Team for the recent US Government Evidence Summit on Community Health Worker Performance.

Henry is a graduate of Duke University, where he received his BA degree. He obtained his MD, MPH and PhD degrees from the Johns Hopkins University and obtained training in general surgery at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has lived and worked in Bolivia, Bangladesh and Haiti and has worked on a short-term basis in many other countries throughout the world.

Hermen Ormel

Hermen Ormel is a social anthropologist and public health specialist with expertise in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. His main areas of interest are capacity development, research and evaluation, mobile health, and gender issues. Hermen has extensive experience working in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

As senior researcher, Hermen is involved in the five-year EU-supported research project REACHOUT, that addresses the performance of close-to-community services in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique.

Polly Walker

Polly  provides  technical  oversight  to  World  Vision’s community health worker  programming  portfolio which spans over 40 countries globally. This includes  World  Vision’s  Timed  and  Targeted  Counselling (TTC) model, a behaviour  change  method  for pregnant and nursing mothers, and integrated community  case  management  (iCCM) of childhood illness. She also provides technical   guidance   on   CHW  policy,  health  workforce  strengthening, curriculum  development  and mHealth. Recent achievements include authoring World  Vision  TTC  and iCCM toolkits, CHW supportive supervision guidance, development  of  CHW  mobile  apps now deployed in nine countries, and the CHW Principles  of  Practice  for  NGOs. Polly is a post-doctoral public health researcher with 12 years experience of working in HIV and maternal, newborn and child  health.  Prior  to joining World Vision in 2011, she was a post doctoral  research  associate  at London School of Economics, and Programme Development  Manager  for  Effective  Intervention  (UK). Polly has spent eight years in  west  and  southern  Africa and Asia working in community health research  and  programming on mobile clinics, traditional birth attendants, essential newborn care and community case management and HIV. She completed her training at Oxford University and University College London.

Diana Frymuss

Diana Frymus is a Health Systems Strengthening Advisor in the Office of HIV/AIDS, USAID Washington, DC. Her work focuses on strengthening health systems to achieve and sustain national HIV responses. Her area of expertise is human resources for health and puts particular focus on better integration of CHWs into national health systems and health worker agendas. She was a member of the Steering Committee for the USG Evidence Summit on Community and Formal Health System Support to Enhance CHW Performance and co-author of the GHWA paper 'Knowledge gaps and a need based global research agenda by 2015' that was used as background to inform the 3rd Global HRH Forum commitment on Harmonized Partner Action for Community and other Frontline Health Workers. She is also a technical advisor for both the USAID CapacityPlus and ASSIST projects.  Diana has previous experience with the Clinton Global Initiative and also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda. She received her MPH from Columbia University. 

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