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Improving Community Health Worker Performance in Humanitarian Emergencies: Preliminary Results from a Study Conducted in Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon (view flyer)


As part of the Seed Funding phase for the third call for proposals by the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC)* programme, the partnership of International Medical Corps (IMC), the Centre for Global Health (CGH) from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Dublin (UCD), and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), were awarded a grant to develop a research protocol investigating the performance of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Humanitarian Crises.

The protocol development used realist evaluation methodology of eliciting an initial programme theory to understand "how to improve community health worker performance in humanitarian crises" across three contexts where IMC implements CHW programmes: Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. In order to accomplish this, a document and literature review were conducted. Additionally, stakeholder consultation in the form of focus group discussion and key informant interviews with programme architects and implementers in the three countries occurred. This consisted of: two research meetings, one in Turkey and one in Lebanon; five interviews with IMC CHW programme managers  (2 from Turkey, 1 from Iraq and 2 from Lebanon); an interview with the IMC CHW programme architect for the Middle East; focus group discussions with CHWs in Reyhanli Turkey (n=1), Kilis Turkey (n=1) and Bekaa and Beruit, Lebanon (n=1); and an interview with a CHW in Erbil, Iraq. 

From this initial theory, a mixed method, 24 month study protocol across three countries (Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon) was designed, which aims to understand "what impacts the motivation and performance of CHWs working in Level III Humanitarian Crises?". The included Policy Brief describes the process of eliciting the initial programme theory, preliminary findings, and presents recommendations for CHW programming and future directions.

*The Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises programme aims to improve health outcomes by strengthening the evidence base for public health interventions in humanitarian crises. Visit for more information. The R2HC programme is funded equally by the Wellcome Trust and DFID, with Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA) overseeing the programme’s execution and management


Last updated 23 November 2016 School Web Administrator (Email).