The Backpack PLUS Collaboration – a joint initiative between UNICEF, Save the Children, the MDG Health Alliance, the One Million Community Health Worker Campaign, and many other partners – has created a set of tools, including a holistic framework and prototype kit – aimed at empowering and supporting Community Health Workers (CHWs). CHWs are widely recognized as a crucial resource to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) health goals. To increase their impact on child mortality, improve effectiveness and boost efficiency, Community Health Workers need holistic solutions that address their daily and long-term needs. Backpack PLUS (BP+) offers an approach towards a comprehensive and systemic solution to achieve these ambitious goals and is intended to support and work alongside existing tools and approaches used by partners and countries.
Phase 1 of the BP+ Project relied on a human-centered design process to shape solutions for CHWs that are based on a deep understanding of their real-world needs. A team of designers from Frog Design undertook extensive field research to get first hand exposure to CHWs and their day-to-day experience. The Frog team used techniques derived from anthropology and ethnography to assess the quality of the tools currently provided to CHWs and to identify pain points and potential solutions.
As developed, the Backpack PLUS framework is a CHW-centric model that identifies all the essential physical, digital and service-level components required to empower and activate CHWs along their journey. The Backpack PLUS physical kit and storage box contains a basic package of commodities, diagnostics, tools and enablers for Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) that can serve as a reference point for countries developing their CHW and iCCM programs. This reference point also includes such ideas as color-coded job aids and medicine boxes that could be adopted and tailored at a country level.
In the next phase of the project, the BP+ Collaboration will be working with a broad range of partners to support the development of country plans, mobilize resources, and share tools such as the prototype kit with countries. In addition, the team will be supporting the development of an ‘operations room’ that can aggregate data on CHW programs and may even have live-monitoring capabilities.
Read more about the outcomes of the first phase of the Backpack PLUS initiative: CHW Backpack Plus Phase 1 Report
Learn more about the Backpack PLUS project by reading the CHW Backpack PLUS blog
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