CHW Advocates are seizing power.

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Building a platform for CHWs to advocate for solutions.

For too long, discussions about community health workers (CHWs) have been happening without CHWs in the room. It’s time for a change.

Community Health Impact Coalition (CHIC) is making professional community health workers (proCHWs) the norm worldwide, by changing guidelines, funding, and policy.

We research to equip international norm setters with evidence. We advocate to influence global financing institutions. And we activate in-country networks to win national policy change.

Through networks of CHWs and partners anchored in the Ministry of Health, our long term goal is to seed an International Association of CHWs.

Supporting CHWs to Advocate for Solutions.

CHW Advocates started in 2020 and is part of the Coalitions Activate work – one of our three tactics. 

A core principle of Activate is that those best placed to advocate for proCHWs are CHWs themselves. CHW Advocates is all about recognizing, cultivating, and building the power of CHWs.

Informed and led by thousands of individual CHW members, we’ve embraced the motto, “Nothing about us, without us,” and committed to ensuring that anytime CHWs are talked about, a CHW is in the room. After all, it’s much harder to deny basic rights to CHWs when one is seated across the table.

Key Activate Priorities

As part of our mission to activate in-country proCHW networks, CHIC members agree to:

  1. Facilitate CHW speaking roles at in-person and virtual events
  2. Help CHWs to secure a visa to attend in-person events
  3. Connect CHWs with advocacy & storytelling training opportunities
  4. Work with organizers to identify and support interpretation services

Participation in these core components of Activate is part of our membership criteria. So, when an organization applies to be a member of the Coalition, they commit to supporting the mission to build a global network of proCHW advocates.

Building a Global Network of Advocates

While training and supporting CHW advocates can be an individual pursuit, we recognize that much of the power of advocacy comes from strength in numbers. 

Our CHW members said early on that they wanted to be part of a global proCHW movement, where they could collaborate with and support comrades fighting for a common cause. Put simply, the more CHWs around the world who are equipped to be advocates – the stronger the proCHW movement becomes.

With this in mind, we organized our Activate work around two key initiatives: Advocacy training for CHWs and a CHW Speaker Bureau.

Safari Doctors

Advocacy Training for CHWs.

In recognition of the fact that CHWs with advocacy training are themselves 2-4 times more likely to engage in political, civic, and workplace advocacy, we developed, in partnership with Stanford’s Digital Medic and a CHW Advisory Group, free digital training for CHWs and CHW supervisors. 

Created together with CHWs as experts, advocacy training equips CHWs with skills to become a powerful force for global norm change, and push for solutions that address issues impacting their profession and their patients.

CHWs’ voices matter, so the advocacy course covers:

  • The history and background of CHW programs
  • How to advocate for improved working conditions
  • How to tell engaging and impactful stories
  • How to use technology tools to participate in global, virtual discussions about community health

On our Speaker Bureau you’ll find great examples of CHW Advocates using their training to demand their rights.

CHW Symposium 2023

Accessing CHW Advocacy Training.

CHW Advocacy Training can be accessed online or in person.

Online

The course can be accessed online at www.chwadvocates.app

No app installation is required, but active data or WiFi connection is required, along with a phone number for enrollment. 

The self-paced course takes approximately 5.5 hours to complete and is recommended for CHWs and CHW supervisors. The curriculum consists of multimedia elements, assessments, and practical exercises.

Find out more

Please see the Stanford’s Digital Medic webpage for offline options.

In person

We also provide a CHW Advocacy Training Facilitator Guide to be used for in-person training. This is a great resource for organizations and individuals who work with CHWs in low-tech environments and/or regularly convene for in-person gatherings.  

The facilitator’s guide is recommended for CHW trainers and supervisors. It’s easy to follow and highly interactive, with an optional accompanying student workbook. The guide is designed to help training teams incorporate the advocacy and storytelling curriculum into their existing CHW training schedules.

Find out more

Just the Beginning.

Initial results from our advocacy training have been astounding. 

9357 CHWs have enrolled in the training. Either online or in-person training delivered by CHIC members and Allies via the Facilitator Guide. And 4055 CHWs have completed it!

We now have a growing roster of CHW Advocates on our Speaker Bureau, all of whom have completed advocacy training and are ready for speaking engagements.

CHWs across the globe are coming together to demand the salaries, ongoing training, support, and supplies needed so everyone can have access to high-quality healthcare. Advocacy training is just the start.