ECDAN

COVID-19 Home Visiting Workforce Platform

The COVID-19 Home Visiting Workforce Platform was developed by Denise Bonsu, with  support from Dr. Aline Simen-Kapeu and Yang (Tingting) Rui. The following individuals  provided invaluable support in the development of the platform: Elisa Altafim, Ayat al Aqra, Patrick Aylward, Émile Bobozi, Alexandra Valeria Maria Brentani, Ghada Abu  ElRous, Svetlana Jankovic, Anthony Kunnumpurath, Eduardo Marino, Ana Paula Gomes  Matias, Brian Mundackal, Kennedy Oruenjo, Cheick Oumar Ouattara, Christian Rusangwa, Thais Sanches, Amy Sene, Dorian Traube, Claudia Vidigal, Frances Vulivuli, and Katelin  Wilton.

Research shows that the early childhood workforce plays a critical role in promoting young children’s physical, social, and cognitive development, especially during the first 1,000 days of life (WHO et al., 2018). Community Health Workers (CHWs), for example, are defined as health aides who act as a critical link between their communities and primary healthcare services and are instrumental in delivering essential services to young children and their families (CDC, 2019; Perry et al., 2014). During COVID-19, there was an increased reliance on CHWs to help prevent the spread of the virus in their communities (Westgate et al., 2021). However, despite these workers’ essential role, they face challenges (e.g., limited training and professional development opportunities, lack of personal protective equipment) that have made it difficult for them to carry out their roles during the pandemic (Ballard et al., 2020).

The COVID-19 Home Visiting Workforce Platform was developed in response to this issue and highlights ten different promising approaches that have been used to support members of the home visiting workforce during COVID-19. It aims to: 

  • Highlight the different measures in place to promote the overall well-being of the home visiting workforce during COVID-19. 
  • Provide policymakers and program managers with different promising approaches for supporting the home visiting workforce that can be tailored to their specific context.  
  • Increase the global knowledge base on supporting the home visiting workforce during times of crises.

The ten profiles featured in this platform were informed by desk reviews and key informant interviews (KIIs) with home visiting program directors, public health officials, CHWs, ECD specialists, and researchers. Each profile includes an overview of the promising approach, the enablers and barriers to implementation, and lessons that can be learned to further support this workforce during times of crises and beyond.  

Country Profiles and Resources

Brazil

Haiti

Jordan

Kenya

Mali

Mozambique

Nigeria

Pacific Region

Togo

United States

References 

Ballard, M. et al. (2020). Prioritising the role of community health workers in the COVID-19  response. BMJ Global Health, 5(6), 1–7. https://gh.bmj.com/content/5/6/e002550 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Community Health Worker (CHW) Toolkithttps://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/pubs/toolkits/chw-toolkit.htm 

Perry, H., Zulliger, R., & Rogers, M. (2014). Community Health Workers in Low-, Middle-, and  High-Income Countries: An Overview of Their History, Recent Evolution, and Current  Effectiveness. Annual Review of Public Health, 35(1), 399–421.  

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182354 

Westgate, C. et al. (2021). Without Community Health Workers, the Global COVID-19 Response  Could Fail: Community health workers have played a vital role in global health efforts. Think  Global Health. https://www.thinkglobalhealth.org/article/without-community-health workers-global-covid-19-response-could-fail 

World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund, & World Bank Group. (2018).  Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development: A Framework for Helping Children Survive  and Thrive to Transform Health and Human Potential. World Health Organization.  https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272603/9789241514064-eng.pdf