Scaling CommCare to Deliver Community Impact

$996,424 | Stage 2: Testing at Scale | Global Health

Dimagi's CommCare solution is DIV's first Stage 1 grant to successfully reapply for Stage 2 funding. See more about their Stage 2 implementation below, and read more about CommCare and DIV here.

The problem: Finding an efficient and effective way to manage and train community health workers

The shortage of health workers in the developing world is unanimously accepted as one of the key constraints to improving public health provision to the poor. In India, community health workers (CHWs) now play a crucial role in providing life-saving services in areas that traditional medical providers struggle to reach.

Since 2005, India has trained and deployed more than 850,000 CHWs. However, expanding networks of CHWs while also maintaining high quality service delivery can be difficult. Training, supervision and evaluation of CHWs are major challenges to ensuring that people served by CHWs receive the same level of care as those able to access treatment from traditional medical providers.

The solution: Scaling a mobile-based solution

Dimagi

CommCare is a case management tool developed by Dimagi, a health and technology social enterprise, to help CHWs provide better care by managing enrollment, support and tracking of clients and activities on their mobile phones. It encourages CHWs to enroll all eligible clients, to conduct more timely visits with patients, and to correctly follow procedures and clinical protocols.  CommCare contains checklists and learning resources to help CHWs promote healthy behaviors that have been shown to reduce mortality and disease in poor populations.

CommCare
In 2010, Dimagi received Stage 1 funding from DIV to establish proof of concept for CommCare. After a successful initial grant, Dimagi recompeted and won Stage 2 funding to increase their field team, further develop the evidence base for CommCare and build the organizational capacity to bring CommCare to scale.

The potential: Cost-effectiveness, impact, and implications

As community health workers play an increasingly important role in providing healthcare to the poor, effectively scaling and managing networks of CHWs will continue to be an important challenge. Dimagi’s Stage 1 pilot demonstrated that CommCare can empower CHWs at a cost of $86 per worker per year, compared to training programs by the Government of India that cost approximately $1,000.

Because the CommCare platform is easily customizable to users’ needs and supports translation into multiple local languages and dialects, it can adapt and scale widely to meet the needs of different NGOs, public health organizations, research institutions and governments who manage networks of CHWs.

Learn more

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Last updated: October 15, 2013

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