Community-based worker systems: guidelines for practitioners

Community-based worker systems: guidelines for practitioners

Making the most of community based worker systems for effective service delivery

Many communities in Africa are largely dependent on services provided by local people rather than by external agencies, including government. Such services include traditional birth attendants, traditional healers, farmer to farmer extension, home-based carers, paralegals and water pump attendants. [adapted from author]

These services are collectively known as community based worker systems (CBW). The concept of community based worker systems is defined as a wide range of social and community activities or arrangements designed for the mutual well being of community members.

These guidelines aim to assist practitioners and implementing partners to run CBW systems more effectively, maximising impacts for clients of the service, empowering communities, empowering the CBWs themselves, and assisting governments to ensure that services are provided at scale to enhance livelihoods. They are aimed at practitioners in government, civil society or the private sector already involved or interested in the practical application of community-based worker models.

Topics look at:

  • Generic components of the CBW system
  • Deciding where to use a CBW approach and preparing for implementation
  • Operationalising the CBW system
Descriptions are provided for the different elements of the system, along with step-by-step guidance around each of these. Examples of real tools used by different agencies are also provided illustrating where some variants of the CBW system differ in how this element should be applied.
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