CORE Group Fall Meeting 2009

In by Avani Duggaraju

More than 150 individuals from 50+ member and partner organizations exchanged ideas, shared state-of-the-art innovations, mapped promising directions, and fueled the technical momentum of CORE Group’s eight Working Groups.The CORE Group fall meeting was held October 7-8 in Washington, D.C.

Day One Presentations
Day Two Presentations

NEWS FROM THE MEETING: CORE Group Welcomes Two New Members

America India Foundation
The American India Foundation, founded in 2001, is a development organization that is devoted to accelerating social and economic change in India. The AIF has invested in over 100 Indian non-governmental organizations while raising about $50 million since its inception. It is one of the largest secular, non-partisan American organizations supporting development work in India.

AIF works with partners to implement programs in education, livelihood, and public health sectors in India – with emphases on elementary education, women’s empowerment, and maternal and child health, respectively.

Catholic Medical Mission Board
CMMB delivers quality healthcare services and medicines to people in need throughout the world. The organization works with compassion for the individual and without discrimination, helping those in need regardless of creed. The organization works to build sustainable healthcare programs that target leading causes of illness, suffering and death. CMMB strives to strengthen local capabilities through its programs.

Day One: Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Daily Facilitators Rabia Mathai (CMMB) and Ann Hendrix-Jenkins (CORE Group)


Keynote Panel: What’s New in Community Health? 9:20-10:30

Richard Greene provided an overview of new directions within USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, and an update on the vision and principles of President Obama’s Global Health Initiative and how it will build upon the successes of existing USG health programs. Presenters offered a brief overview on the continuing evolution of Community Case Management, Newborn Home Care, and Nutrition and Food Security.


  • Directions in Health: USAID/GH Bureau – Richard Greene (USAID)
  • Community Case Management Takes Off! – David Marsh (Save the Children)
  • Newborn Health: Burden of Disease and Evidence for Community-Based Interventions – Abdullah Baqui (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Nutrition and Food Security – Laura Birx (USAID)

Concurrent Sessions

Malaria: Progress and Process in Reaching Universal Coverage.
This panel began with an overview of the methodologies behind “The Net Mapping Project” and progress toward Universal Coverage targets. Following the broader overview, the panel focused on country-level needs, integrated approaches, considered resource mobilization strategies for impact, and discussed local net production technologies in Africa. Participants had an opportunity to discuss challenges, solutions and the larger community health implications of meeting these targets.


  • Net mapping project – John Milliner (USAID/Africa Bureau – Net Mapping Project)
  • Malaria: Progress & Process in Reaching Universal Coverage – Lessons from 10 Years of NetMark – Willard Shaw (AED/NetMark)
  • Technology Innovation & Commercialization – Andrew Butenhoff (Anovotek) 

Community Maternal/Newborn Care

Massee Batemen, Save the Children; Judy Lewis, HHF; Abdullah Baqui, JHU; Joseph de Graft-Johnson, Save the Children/MCHIP
This session addressed person-centered care for mothers and newborns and discussed integrated community-level approaches to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality. Effective care focuses on the mother/child dyad and requires integrated action from the home, community, facility and hospital. The panel included discussions of the recent WHO/UNICEF Joint Statement on Home Visits for the newborn child: a strategy to improve survival; the continuum of care; new initiatives with CORE and Home Based Life Saving Skills and community-based newborn interventions.


  • Continuum of Care – The Links That Save Mothers and Newborns – Massee Bateman (Save the Children/Saving Newborn Lives)
  • HBLSS—Mobilizing Families and Communities for Mothers and Newborns – Judy Lewis (Haitian Health Foundation/CORE Group Safe Motherhood Working Group Co-chair)
  • Newborn Health: Burden of Disease and Evidence for Community-Based Interventions – Abdullah Baqui (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Reaching newborns before they die: WHO, UNICEF and partners recommendations – Joseph de Graft-Johnson (Save the Children/MCHIP)


Lunchtime Roundtable: mHealth collaboration for m-proved community health programs

James Bon Tempo (JHPIEGO) and David Cantor (MACRO) held an informal discussion—what progress is being made in mhealth? What is holding it back? How might CORE Group members get involved?


Working Group Planning Time

Working Group technical discussion and planning time.

Concurrent Sessions

The Science of Persuasion, Part II

Tom Davis (Food for the Hungry)
During this session (part two of a series), participants learned key principles from the persuasion literature (on social proof, reciprocation and attribution) that are useful in bringing about behavior change in child survival, HIV, and other public health programs. After hearing these principles, participants created lists of how to use these persuasion principles and techniques in project design and discussed the usefulness of each for programming.


The Science of Persuasion, Part II: Using Persuasion Principles & Techniques in Child Survival and MCH Programs


Community Case Management of Sick Children

David Marsh (Save the Children); Nancy Newton (CORE Group); Steve Hodgins (MCHIP); Asha George (UNICEF); Emmanuel d’Harcourt (IRC)
This 3-part session featured (1) a panel to present CCM experience from Asia (monitoring), Africa (quality assurance), and Latin America (policy); (2) participants joined one of three similarly themed tables for a facilitated discussion on lessons learned, best practices, and challenges from their own CCM experience; and (3) brief plenary reports from each table.



Equity: We are all working toward it: What do we mean, and how can we improve our efforts?

Jennifer Luna (MCHIP); Todd Nitkin (Medical Teams International); Michelle Kouletio (Concern Worldwide); Laban Tsuma (Plan International); Alan Talens (CRWRC)

Participants furthered their understanding of equity and contributed to the process of better defining how community-oriented programs should address the issue. This is part of a process that ultimately will result in recommendations for the PVO community, CSHGP projects and MCHIP country programs.


  • Equity: We are all working toward it. What do we mean, and how can we improve our efforts?
    (Jennifer Luna and Todd Nitkin)
  • Integrating Equity Assessment in a Child Survival Program (Alen Talens)
  • Local District Experience in addressing equity in Child health in Kilifi (Laban Tsuma)


Day Two: Thursday, October 8, 2009

Welcome: Daily Facilitator Lalia Chania (International Relief and Development)




  • CORE Group: What’s New? (Karen LeBan)
  • Keynote Address: Community-Based Primary Health Care: Are women to be instruments of child survival, or active participants in family health and development? (Henry Mosley, Johns Hopkins University)
  • Dory Storms Award Recipient, Henry Perry (Johns Hopkins University and Future Generations) gave a brief presentation on his personal and professional influences during his long career in international health and child survival.
  • Henry Perry’s Acceptance Speech

Concurrent Sessions

Pandemic Influenza: Technical Update

Eric Starbuck (CORE/H2P)
This session focused on the epidemiology of the current pandemic and recent global guidance on interventions for mitigation at family and community levels, and included time for questions and discussion.


  • Part I: Epidemiology, History, and Current Threat
  • Part II: Mitigation Strategies
  • Part III: Additional Slides


Community Health in Conflict Settings/Fragile States

Nitin Madhav (Officer-in-Charge, FATA Programs, USAID); Netra Prasad Batta (ADRA Nepal); Stephanie Weber (American Refugee Committee International); Andrea Wilson (Aga Khan Foundation)
In a world where conflicts are increasing – some directly affecting the security of the United States – this session looked at community health programs and their role in not only providing essential services, but also the subtle ways in which they contribute toward improved stability in fragile environments. Participants examined lessons learned through programs in Liberia, Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Thailand, Nepal, Afghanistan and Pakistan – and how these programs may impact U.S. foreign policy in terms of maintaining the key priority of improving community health.


  • Community Based Family Planning in a Conflict Setting – Netra Prasad Batta (ADRA Nepal)
  • Cultivating Dynamic Health Leaders from the Community – Stephanie Weber (American Refugee Committee International)
  • Rebuilding communities through health initiatives in Afghanistan – Andrea Wilson (Aga Khan Foundation)


Make Space: Innovation to Enhance Service Delivery

Michelle Kouletio (Concern Worldwide); Nazo Kureshy (USAID); Donika Dimovska (Results for Development); Neal Brandes (USAID); Alyssa Sharkey (UNICEF/iMNCH)
Are you interested in gaining insights into how to incorporate equity into project designs? Are you interested in being part of a process to provide recommendations for community oriented programs? This session provided an opportunity to hear preliminary findings from an expert equity Technical Advisory Group process that MCHIP is conducting; ask questions of PVO experts; share ideas among participants; and propose next steps for developing recommendations for community oriented programs. The session included a brief explanation of the expert TAG process, group discussions, and presentations of examples from the field.


  • Making Space Michelle Kouletio (Concern Worldwide)
  • Making Space: Innovation to Enhance Service Delivery – Neal Brandes and Nazo Kureshy, USAID)
  • Innovations for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health: Background and Conceptual Framework – Alyssa Sharkey (UNICEF/iMNCH)


  • Chad Swanson discussed the Consensus statement on health system strengthening.
  • Garth Osborn talked about his recent work with IRC on pandemic-specific issues with NGOs working in refugee camps.

Working Groups/Projects: Joint meeting time and/or technical presentations

Malaria in Pregnancy/Anemia

Kwami Asamoa (CDC), Emily Wainwright (Jhpiego), Aimee Dickerson (USAID) 

What are the latest updates and issues surrounding malaria during pregnancy and resulting anemia? Participants discussed related technical issues, useful tools for scale up of MIP programming and had an opportunity to share lessons learned.


  • Malaria during Pregnancy: Updates and issues surrounding IPTp – Kwame Asamoa (CDC)
  • Integrated Anemia Control: Putting the Pieces Together – Emily Wainwright (Jhpiego)
  • Preventing Malaria in Pregnancy: Results and Recommendations from Five sub-Saharan African Countries  Aimee Dickerson (USAID)


Human Pandemic Preparedness Project.
A discussion about H2P’s easy-to-use, easy-to-adapt community-oriented curriculum and tools in this participatory session. Curriculum>>


Social and Behavior Change Working Group.
Participants heard about the HIP Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Improvement Training Package (WASH). Participants shared their expertise as SBC members presented the Partnership Defined Quality M&E toolkit and the Social Change Toolkit. The group vettted each toolkit and discussed application of each to programs and to other working groups.


Community Health Worker Functionality Tool. Lauren Crigler (Initiatives)
USAID is addressing the global health human resources crisis by increasing the number of functional (trained, equipped, supervised) community health workers and volunteers. This tool will be used to report on this achievement to Congress and the American public. Participants provided input into the development of this tool, and learned more about it.

Rapid Assessment of Community Health Worker Programs in USAID Priority MCH Countries- Draft Tool for Field Testing

Community Health Worker Functionality Tool



Polio Project Update

Ellen Coates, Director of CORE Group’s Polio Project provided a brief overview of the accomplishments of this dynamic effort, and plans for the future.


Fall Meeting Summary Overview and Announcements

Tom Davis (Food for the Hungry & CORE Group Board Chair).


Working Groups Gallery Walk/Poster Session

This session featured Working Groups, MCHIP and our table sponsors exhibiting their current programs, and encouraged participants to get involved!