Conference Overview

The 2019 Global Health Practitioner Conference on May 6-9 in Bethesda, Maryland, USA welcomed 332 implementers, academics, donors, private sector, and other community health advocates from over 14 countries representing over 107 organizations to explore the dynamic and ever-evolving profile of partnerships existing between different stakeholders working to advance community health at various levels of policy and implementation. The conference also highlighted different innovations for community health work, from technology to methodologies and processes. The objectives were:

  • EXAMINE the successful elements that contribute to meaningful partnerships for results at the community, national, regional and global levels
  • SHARE innovative health models that can be scaled; determine how as a community we can address gaps in scaling up known evidence-based models
  • CATALYZE plans for consortium building, technical capacity building and strategic focus for improved community health, in a cross-sectoral manner

Agenda At-a-Glance

Session Presentations: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

New Information Circuits | Poster Session

Speaker Bios

Program Booklet | Conference Report (upcoming!)

Dory Storm Award

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

2019 Award Winner

Mary DeCoster, Food For the Hungry

Session Recording


Concurrent Sessions

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Leveraging Expertise: A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Approach to Strengthening Community Health Systems

PRESENTERS: Nazo Kureshy, USAID; Smisha Agarwal, Frontline Health, Johns Hopkins University; Vandana Tripathi, Fistula Care Plus Project, EngenderHealth; Caroline Johnson, Frontline Health, Population Council; Juliet Harris, Aga Khan Foundation; Karen Kirk, Population Council| MODERATOR: Ben Bellows, Frontline Health, Population Council

Using the Frontline Health and Fistula Care Plus projects, this session discussed “what works and what doesn’t” at global, national and sub-national levels in aligning stakeholder priorities using four different lenses: 1.) Multi-agency and multi-donor collaborative efforts to develop the Community Health Workers Performance Measurement Framework; 2.) Engaging community volunteers, primary health care providers, transportation workers, and mobile health to reduce barriers to accessing fistula care in Nigeria and Uganda; 3.) A multi-stakeholder perspective to develop advocacy strategy to support country-level policy with experiences from Liberia and Uganda; and 4.) The role of civil society groups in partnering with public sector agency to support the use of data in advancing community health in Mali. The session discussed the following: 1. What key processes enable partner alignment at global, national and sub-national levels for effective strategic priority setting, advocacy policy development, and implementation of community health systems? 2. How can innovations involving the use of digital tools and civil society groups support, strengthen and reinforce community health systems? 3. How can multi-stakeholder partnerships use the “Community Health Systems Performance Measurement Framework” to monitor and assess the effectiveness of community health systems?


Partnerships in Action: A Nutrition-Focused Family-Based Lifecourse Approach to Addressing NCDs

PRESENTERS: Paul Freeman, University of Washington; Charlotte Block, NCBA CLUSA; Mychelle Farmer, Advancing Synergy & NCD Child; Eric Trachtenberg, Alliance for Food & Health| MODERATOR: Arti Varanasi, Advancing Synergy

Throughout the world, vulnerable populations in developing countries face persistent child malnutrition with co-existing non-communicable disease (NCD) causing increasing morbidity and mortality in adults, within the same communities and sometimes households.  A multi-level approach from the household to community to government is needed to prevent and treat malnutrition in children, provide adolescents and young adults with the knowledge and skills to practice positive nutrition practices, and for adults to be enabled to support good nutrition for themselves and their families.  Double Duty Actions, developed by the World Health Organization, address the underlying and common determinants for both under and over nutrition – excessive weight being one of the leading causes of many NCDs.  Additional actions such as tobacco and alcohol control are also proven ways to decrease common NCDs.  The session aimed to highlight evidence from effective programs that seek to address NCDs and raise for discussion the feasibility of combining such programs to make best use of available resources and foster integration across sectors.


Catalyzing Investments in RMNCAH at the Community Level: Lessons from the FP-SDGs Model and the TESFA Program

PRESENTERS: Kaja Jurczynska, Palladium; Feven Mekuria, CARE; Ryan Derni, CARE

This session aimed to inform how an advocacy tool and scale up of a married girls program intervention are creating an enabling environment for family planning in communities. We will focus on a model to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and economic empowerment for married adolescent girls. A case study we describe the model and results from an RCT ex-post evaluation (4 years after program has ended).  The session described efforts to design and implement a scalable and more impactful model, amplifying the successful components of based on the learnings so far. We will address: 1) innovative approaches to reach marginalized groups with high unmet needs for contraception/SRH services, 2) Partnering and engaging with community “social gatekeepers’ to create social support systems for adolescent girls 3) Catalyzing and scaling the impacts of a successful model within the program area and beyond.

Presentation_Mekuria, Derni | Presentation_Jurczynska

The CMAM Surge Approach: Building Resilient and Responsive Health Systems

PRESENTERS: Amanda Yourchuck, Concern Worldwide; Sarah Butler O’Flynn, Save the Children

CMAM Surge is a health systems strengthening (HSS) approach preparing health facilities to respond to demands in acute malnutrition treatment services, occurring due to seasonal or unforeseen shocks. Traditional emergency responses can cause unintended damage to health systems by creating parallel, NGO and cluster-driven responses. CMAM Surge strives to improve emergency preparedness and response through longer-term approaches, (normally in the realm of development). Since its initial pilot in Kenya in 2012, the CMAM Surge approach has successfully scaled-up and been introduced in a variety of countries and contexts.  The session aimed to inform preliminary findings from an ongoing review and cost-effectiveness analysis in Niger and Ethiopia. Greater community engagement and involvement in CMAM Surge activities to prompt community-level preparedness and prevention activities, strengthens community-facility linkages.  The session aimed to be a promising intervention in humanitarian-development nexus countries:  those experiencing protracted crises, as its ultimate goal is to improve emergency response by creating a shock-responsive health system, while recognizing that to do so will require a longer-term development approach to strengthening the health system. The approach can bridge the gap between emergency and development programming by fostering partnerships across sectors, NGOs, and government.

Presentation_Yourchuck, Butler O’Flynn

Plenary Session & Closing

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

The Power of the Private Sector at the Community Level: Partnerships and Innovation to Achieve Universal Access to Care

PRESENTERS: Sam Gwer, Afya Research Africa; Malcolm Riley III, Innovation in Healthcare at Duke University; Whitney Adams, CARE; USAID Center for Innovation and Impact, Bureau for Global Health | MODERATOR: Caroline Quijada, SHOPS Plus Project, Abt Associates

The private health sector goes beyond corporations and includes service delivery providers that are innovating with business models to bring high-quality low-cost care to communities globally.  This session aimed to highlight those innovations, how these businesses partner with government, as well as challenges faced and the critical role they play at the community level.

Session Recording