Peers for Progress e-News                   September 25, 2013
Peer Support Around the World
This month, Peers for Progress brings you a featured spotlight on Pakistan’s Lady Health Worker program, which employs nearly 110,000 community health workers across the entire country. You’ll find more information about this ambitious program under resources and research briefs. This issue also provides a first look at two Work Group products from the National Peer Support Collaborative Learning Network.


Pakistan's Lady Health Workers: A National Model for Delivering Primary Healthcare and Peer Support

One of the largest community health worker programs in the world, the LHW program demonstrates a successful phased scale-up with clear policy planning and health system integration. This program offers many lessons for those of us interested in scaling up, quality improvement, and advocacy. [Read More]            

First Look: NPSCLN Work Group Products

On behalf of the National Peer Support Collaborative Learning Network, Peers for Progress is proud to share two Work Group products.

Work Group on Quality Improvement and Evaluation
Continuous Quality Improvement: Gathering data today to help programs perform better tomorrow [Read More]

Work Group on Sustainability and Advocacy
Community Health Worker Advocacy Toolkit: Changing Health Policy to Promote Sustainability [Read More


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Program Resources    

Health Transitions in Pakistan

The Lancet published this series on Health Transitions in Pakistan, which offers insight and recommendations for accelerating Pakistan’s development trajectory. This series shows the ways in which the Lady Health Worker program is driving health and social reform in Pakistan. [Read More]

Human Development Research Foundation

The Human Development Research Foundation has been working in close collaboration with the LHW program since the past decade. Visit their website to view training materials, articles, and reports. [Read More]

CHW Central Resource Database

CHW Central created this sortable and searchable database on global CHW resources. [Read More] In September, they hosted a digital conversation to discuss key elements to the success of collaborations and effective scale-up. [Read More]



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Research Briefs 

The Role of Social Geography on Lady Health Workers' Mobility and Effectiveness in Pakistan

This study explores whether and how gendered norms and extended family (biradari) relationships impact LHWs' home-visit rates. A mixed-method study was conducted across 21 villages in one district of Punjab in 2009-2010. The findings suggest that LHW performance is constrained by both gender and biradari/caste-based hierarchies. Further, since LHWs tended to be poor and low caste, and at the same time preferentially visited co-members of their extended family who are likely to share similar socioeconomic circumstances, the program may be differentially providing health care services to poorer households, albeit through an unintended route. [Full Abstract]

'Sometimes they fail to keep their faith in us': Community Health Worker Perceptions of Structural Barriers to Quality of Care and Community Utilization of Services in Bangladesh

This study describes the results of qualitative investigations into CHW perceptions of barriers to quality of care among workers implementing community case management in southern Bangladesh. The authors explored systemic barriers to service delivery, pertaining to communities and health systems, which limited the usefulness and effectiveness of CHW services. Focus group discussions (n = 10) were conducted in March 2010. Findings highlight several perceived barriers to effective service provision, including community poverty constraining uptake of recommended practices, irregular supplies of medicine from the health facility and poor quality of care for CHW referrals sent there. [Full Abstract]

Role of Lay Health Workers in Pediatric Chronic Disease: A Systematic Review

The 17 interventions that met inclusion criteria all focused on specific conditions: asthma, type I diabetes, obesity, and failure to thrive. Interventions were heterogeneous in frequency, mode, and duration of interactions between lay health workers and subjects. Several interventions were multifaceted, including both one-on-one and group interactions. Improved outcomes most commonly reported were reduced urgent care use, decreases in symptoms, fewer missed work and school days, and increased parental quality of life. One study demonstrated that lay health worker interventions were cost-effective. [Full Abstract] 

Investigating Support Needs for People Living with Heart Disease

This qualitative study interviewed 9 participants, who were at least four weeks post-completion of a cardiac rehabilitation program. The participants articulated that informational, psychological and social supports were imperative in enabling recovery from a serious cardiac event. This study highlights the gap in ongoing support for people post-participation in cardiac rehabilitation programs and the need for different levels of support during their recovery. Individuals who have experienced an acute cardiac event need ongoing support across the recovery continuum. Consideration needs to be given to care models that address this need including exploring the potential of peer support. [Full Abstract]


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Funding Opportunities 

Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities (R01)

Deadline: October 5, 2013/ February 2, 2014 (Standard Dates)
Funds: Not limited

The purpose of this FOA is to encourage behavioral and social science research on the causes and solutions to health and disabilities disparities in the U. S. population. Emphasis is placed on research in and among three broad areas of action: 1) public policy, 2) health care, and 3) disease/disability prevention. Applications that utilize an interdisciplinary approach, investigate multiple levels of analysis, incorporate a life-course perspective, and/or employ innovative methods such as systems science or community-based participatory research are particularly encouraged. [Read More]

Health Promotion Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Males (R01)

Deadline: October 5, 2013/ February 2, 2014 (Standard Dates)
Funds: Not limited

This initiative seeks applications from applicants that propose to stimulate and expand research in the health of minority men. Specifically, this initiative encourages applications focusing on the development and testing of culturally and linguistically appropriate health-promoting interventions designed to reduce health disparities among racially and ethnically diverse males and their subpopulations age 21 and older. [Read More]

NIMHD Social, Behavioral, Health Services, and Policy Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01)

Deadline: November 19, 2013
Funds: $250,000 per year

Investigators who conduct original and innovative social, behavioral, clinical, health services or policy research directed toward eliminating health disparities are invited to apply to this FOA. Projects that examine understudied health conditions; examine the effectiveness of interventions, services, or policies for multiple health disparity populations; and/or directly measure the impact of project activities on levels of health disparities are particularly encouraged. [Read More]



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Program Resources

Research Briefs

Funding Opportunities

Meetings and Events

  Please forward this e-newsletter to an interested colleague 

Pakistan’s Lady Health Workers: A National Model for Delivering Primary Healthcare and Peer Support

First Look: NPSCLN Work Group Products


AAFP Scientific Assembly (San Diego, CA, USA; September 24-28, 2013)

Weekend for Women (San Francisco, CA; October 4-6, 2013)

PCPCC Annual Fall Conference (Bethesda, MD; October 13-15, 2013)

APHA 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition (Boston, MA; November 2-6, 2013)

IDF World Diabetes Congress (Melbourne, Australia; December 2-6, 2013)

11th Promotores, Leaders and Community Health Workers Conference (Los Angeles, CA; December 6-7, 2013)


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