CORE Group Fall Meeting 2010

In by Avani Duggaraju

View the agenda and presentations from the various days with the following links:

Tuesday Sessions
Wednesday Sessions

Tuesday – Fall 2010

Daily Facilitator Whitney Pyles, CARE


State of CORE

Karen LeBan, Ann Hendrix-Jenkins (CORE Group)

Highlights from the past year, plans for the coming year, and a few words on CORE Group’s evolving identity.

State of CORE

Presentation of the Dory Storms Award to Drs. Abhay and Rani Bang

At CORE Group’s spring meeting, CORE Group members voted to have the Dory Storms Child Survival Recognition Award awarded to Drs. Abhay and Rani Bang “for their exceptional efforts resulting in more effective child survival program implementation and increased impact in improving the health of the poorest of the poor including mothers, children and infants in underserved communities throughout the world.”

Review of Award Winners

Keynote: Inspiration, Integration, and Impact.

Dr. Abhay Bang, Director of the Society for Education, Action, and Research in Community Health (SEARCH)

Concurrent Sessions

Newborn Health—Full Continuum of Practical Actions

Dr. Stella Abwao and Dr. Winnie Mwebesa, Save the Children

Recently, WHO in partnership with UNICEF, USAID and Save the Children released a Joint Statement on the importance of postnatal visits in ensuring neonatal survival. This session highlighted country initiatives in translating the statement into action and actively engage participants in discussing the role of PVOs in introducing and/or scaling up the interventions at country level.

ICEWHO/UNF – Joint Statement Service Delivery &  Program Implications

A Health Systems Strengthening Framework Inclusive of Households/Community/Clinics – Examples from Kenya and Bangladesh

Alex Ergo and Nirali Shah, Broad Branch Associates, Laban Tsuma, MCHIP

Presenters described the evolution of an HSS framework and present the prototype with examples from Kenya. Presenters and participants: Defined the terms health system and health system strengthening and their relevance in the context of district- and community-based interventions; Illustrated how district- and community-based interventions depend upon and can potentially influence the health system; Helped design a set of useful tools to help district- and community-based intervention identify, take into account and/or overcome health system challenges; Agreed on the way forward.

Strengthening Health Systems to improve Maternal, Neonatal & Child Health Outcomes: A Framework

Local Lessons on Sustainability thinking to improve Health Systems Strengthening – Laban Tsuma

mHealth and CCM/Community Child Health: Charting the Way Forward

Participatory session with Ann Hendrix-Jenkins and Shannon Downey, CORE Group, as facilitators and an array of mHealth/Information Technology experts and Child Health experts.

Watch out WWF! This working session brought together, for the first time, community child health program folks (including CCM aficionados); operations/implementation researchy-types; and technology people. Participants outlined practical community child health workflows and barriers, and creatively considered mhealth solutions. A multidisciplinary group of experts analyzed the proposed solutions, and the outcomes will be then translated into research questions. This session built upon previous CCM and mHealth sessions held at the 2010 Spring Meeting–with a quick update for those who missed those sessions.

Session Notes

Lunchtime Roundtables

Update from the CSHGP: Strengthening Innovation, Research, and Integration

Nazo Kureshy, USAID CSHGP

PMNCH Linkages with CORE

Mary Anne Mercer, HAI and Ann Starrs, NGO Reps, PMNCH Board of Directors

K4Health Toolkits: Improving access to health information through online e-toolkits

Angela Nash-Mercado, JHU-CCP

Non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG) in cases of PPH

Dr. Abdelhadi Eltahir, Pathfinder International

Clinical and Community Action to Address Post Partum Hemorrhage


Designing Agriculture Investments that Support Improved Maternal and Child Nutrition:  Recognized models, lessons learned from past efforts and design tools

Panelists presented and discussed state of the art approaches to harnessing agricultural programs to achieve improved nutrition, particularly for the most vulnerable populations (pregnant and lactating women and children under 2; economically marginalized), evaluating the pathways to impact of such programs, and scaling them up.

  • Bethann Cotrell, Director of Child Health and Nutrition, CARE; Moderator
  • Victoria Quinn, Senior Vice President, Helen Keller International. HKI’s Enhanced Homestead Food Production Program:  an integrated model for building capacity for household production and consumption of nutritionally dense plant and animal source foods for improved micronutrient status, child growth and women’s empowerment. She also addressed strategies and outcomes for reduced maternal and young child anemia.

HKI’s Enhanced Homestead Food Production model – Linking food production to nutrition outcomes

  • Tom Schaetzl, Director, IYCN Project –PATH. Findings from a Review of the Literature:  Relevant lessons learned to date in strategies to maximize nutritional benefits of agricultural projects:  achievements and challenges.

Maximizing Nutritional Benefits of Agricultural Interventions

  • David Pelletier, Associate Professor, Cornell University College of Human Ecology. How the Nutrition Program Assessment Guide can inform scale up: The PAG is a tool developed with support of the A2Z project that outlines a process for eliciting information about effective nutrition interventions needed to inform the process of scaling up the delivery of strategies proven to be successful on a smaller scale. The tool is designed explicitly to link nutrition, health, agriculture and food security objectives.

The Program Assessment Guide


Working Group Planning Time

Working Group technical discussion and planning time.

Community Child Health



Monitoring and Evaluation


Safe Motherhood/Reproductive Health

Social and Behavior Change



Interested in Equity? Review of Draft Health Equity Guidance

Jennifer Winestock-Luna, MCHIP


Wednesday – Fall 2010

Daily Facilitator Areana Quinones (CMMB)


CORE Board of Directors Strategic Update

Tom Davis, CORE Group Board Chair

Tom provided an update on CORE Group’s FY11 strategic directions.

CORE Group Board of Directors’ Strategic Retreat: SUMMARY OF DECISIONS


MNCH Policy and Advocacy Update

Andrew Barrer, U.S. Coalition for Child Survival Executive Director

Andrew Barrer reviewed public policy and advocacy issues facing the MCH community including the current appropriations process, the upcoming UN MDG summit and the Global Health Initiative (GHI).


Agenda Setting to Scale Up Community Health

Prof. Jeremy Shiffman, American University

Prof. Shiffman presented a framework on how to generate attention for neglected public health issues in low-income countries, drawing on examples from maternal survival advocacy.

A framework on generating attention for global health issues: case study of maternal survival


Concurrent Sessions

Changing Ecology of Community Health Worker Systems

Fe Garcia, World Vision; Lauren Crigler, URC

This session covered changes since WHO recommended that CHWs be part of the formal health system two months ago and since the launch of USAID’s functional performance assessment tool late last year.  Discussion included the emerging variants of CHWs globally and what this means to PVO’s in terms of shifting strategic roles.

Global Trends in Community Health Worker Programs – Lauren Crigler

Working in newborn health with community agents in Honduras – the success of a NGO network. – Goldy Mazia


Applying the Improvement Collaborative Approach at the Community Level

Lani Marquez, URC; Judy Chang, Plan USA; Nicole Richardson, Save the Children, David Shanklin, ChildFund

This session presented the basic concepts of improvement, common features of improvement methods, and the basic strategy of an improvement collaborative (as one improvement method). Two case studies demonstrated how the improvement collaborative approach has been applied at the community level in Benin and Ethiopia, and plans for applying the approach to community level services in Senegal were discussed.   Discussion helped identify some of the basic conditions that need to be met to apply the approach, what some of the challenges/difficulties are that might be encountered, and how to overcome them.

Improvement Basics and an Introduction to Collaborative Improvement – Lani Marquez

Collaborative Approach to Community-based Malaria Prevention in Benin – Judy Chang

Using Collaborative Improvement to Achieve Quality Care for Vulnerable Children in Ethiopia – Nicole Richardson

Summary Report: Collaborative Approach to Community-based Malaria Prevention in Benin 

The Essential Nutrition Action (ENA) Framework: More than 7 actions

Victoria Quinn, Helen Keller International; Agnes Guyon, JSI Research and Training Institute

The objective of this session was to revive understanding of the power of the ENA framework to improve nutritional practices and outcomes during the “critical window” of pregnancy and the first two years of life and present current initiatives to build on the momentum of the Lancet Series with the scale up of this solution.

The Essential Nutrition Actions Framework: More than Just Seven Actions. (Part 1 of 3)

The Essential Nutrition Actions Framework: More than Just Seven Actions. (Part 2 of 3)

The Essential Nutrition Actions Framework: More than Just Seven Actions. (Part 3 of 3)


Lunchtime Roundtables

MCHIP/CORE Linkages and Opportunities

Leo Ryan, MCHIP


Digital Delivery: Sharing our Experiences

Sarah Shannon, Hesperian

Digital Delivery: Sharing Our Experiences

Polio Project Update

Frank Colon, CORE Group and World Vision


Concurrent Sessions

From the mouths of babes: A discussion of HIV and OVC program implications with former OVC beneficiaries

Speakers: Effie Adhiambo, Norah Matyama, Tichaona Mudhobhi, Abel Inalegwu

Moderators: Janine Schooley, Project Concern International; Mychelle Farmer, Catholic Relief Services

Former child project beneficiaries from Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe will lead a discussion concerning on-the-ground realities of OVC programs. Facilitators divided the participants into small groups, each facilitated by one of the youth, and assigned key discussion questions. The small groups will reported out, and key recommendations for future programming will be developed by the larger participant group.


Climate Change and Food Security’s Implications for Sustaining Community Health: What Role for Practitioners?” – Guided Discussion + Updates on Sustainability Work

Eric Sarriot, ICFI; Jennifer Yourkavitch and Ilona Varallyay, ICFI Cedars Center for Design and Research in Sustainability

If quick fixes got us to the current global climate change situation, is it not time to try a sustainable development model to respond to the greatest unsustainability challenge of our day?” (Davis and Sarriot, 2010)

An engaging and insightful discussion on Climate Change and Food Security: Implications for Sustaining Community Health .  The CEDARS Team presented an article about the development of the social infrastructure required to enhance community adaptation to climate change (‘Hurry Up Slowly’—Building Social Infrastructure as Adaptation to Climate Change in Developing Countries by Robb Davis and Eric Sarriot) and facilitated an interactive discussion, focusing on what meaningful role public health practitioners can take in this process. Updates about our work on sustainability and the use of the Sustainability Framework—a tool to ensure sustainability considerations are integrated into program planning early on in the project cycle—were also be shared, as well as opportunities for co-authorship on upcoming publications.

Climate Change and Food Security: Implications for Sustaining Community Health


Family Planning Integration: Overcoming Barriers to NGO programming

Paige Anderson Bowen; CORE Group consultant

Paige presented the results of a recent survey she conducted to identify, document and share information on the integration of community-based family planning (CBFP) services into maternal and child health programs by CORE Group member organizations.  Paige then facilitated a lively discussion on best practices and recommendations directed to the CORE Safe Motherhood/Reproductive Health (SMRH) Working Group and USAID Flexible Fund on information, tools and other publication resources, and guidance that is needed to mobilize and support organizations to integrate CBFP into their community-focused MCH programs.

Family Planning Integration: Overcoming Barriers to NGO Programming. A Presentation of Preliminary Results from the CORE Group CBFP/MCH Integration Survey


Care Groups: 2009/2010 Lessons Learned from Final Evaluations & Operations Research

Laban Tsuma (MCHP, formerly w/PLAN); Henry Perry (JHUSPH), Melanie Morrow (World Relief), Carolyn Wetzel (FH) and Tom Davis (FH) as Moderator

This session focused on the latest lessons learned in terms of implementing Care Groups effectively from three Care Group projects ending in 2009 and 2010.

Care Groups: Lessons Learned, Project Evaluations 2009-2011 – Tom Davis

Key Findings from Care Group Operational Research. Sofala, Mozambique Research conducted from April to May 2010 as part of the project: Achieving Equity, Coverage, and Impact through a Care Group Network – Carolyn Wetzel

Findings and Reflections on the Food for the Hungry Care Group Child Survival Project in Sofala Province, Mozambique – Henry Perry, Johns Hopkins

Local Lessons on Care Groups – Laban Tsuma

Vurhonga Expanded Impact CSP. Lessons Learned in Gaza Province, Mozambique – Melanie Morrow



Working Group Reports: FY11 Priority Activities

Each Working Group highlighted upcoming plans and activities for FY11.


Linkages Between Technical and Operational Support to Title II (TOPS) and CORE Community Health Network

Tom Davis, Food for the Hungry & CORE Group Board Chair

Tom facilitated a participatory dialogue about the new TOPS project and CORE Group’s role as Knowledge Manager, helping to develop a food security and nutrition network. The TOPS strategic objective is to identify, establish, share and adapt the highest-quality information, knowledge, and best practices for improved methodologies in Title II food aid commodity program performance.

Linkages between Technical and Operational Support to Title II (TOPS) and CORE


Youth Speak—What Works in Community Health and HIV Integration

Former child project beneficiaries from Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe presented their personal stories as a way of stimulating our thinking about programming for children in HIV-endemic situations. This session served to remind us about the purpose of our work and inspired us to do even better.

Artwork by Tich.  What works in Community Health and HIV Integration