CORE Group Fall Meeting 2011

In by Avani Duggaraju

A total of 211 people representing 72 organizations participated in CORE Group’s Fall 2011 Meeting. The theme was Windows of Opportunity for Health and Well-Being, and many of these “windows of opportunity” opened as CORE Group members, associates and others came together to filter, analyze, network, strategize, and collaborate; all for the purpose of supporting the health and wellbeing of underserved people in low- and middle-income countries. Our specific focus on community health programming keeps the content practical, applied, and grounded. The hallmark of community health efforts is integrated patient and community-centered care, which takes place primarily outside formal health system facilities.

Within these parameters, there is no shortage of pressing technical issues, including multiple aspects of maternal and child health, equity, nutrition, and community case management of sick children. Participants shared best practices and lessons learned and inspired one another to continue moving forward, despite concerns about budget cuts, policy changes and unpredictable resource flows. Dory Storms Award winner, Dr. Peter Winch of Johns Hopkins University, captured CORE Group’s spirit of collaboration when he said, “We all need one another to overcome the challenges we face in global health.”

The “Windows” theme refers both to crucial periods in the human life cycle, and to the social, political, and economic context in which we address global health. Interactive sessions assessed the current state of women’s health and empowerment, child well-being, non-communicable diseases, family planning, malaria, and newborn survival (among other topics) and sought to identify opportunities for NGOs to partner with communities, donors, governments, academia, business and multilaterals to make further progress.

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

Meeting Report
Program Agenda
At-a-Glance Agenda
Thursday Sessions
Friday Sessions

Thursday October 13, 2011

Daily Facilitator: Lynette Friedman

Welcome & Overview

Judy Lewis, Chair, Haitian Health Foundation, CORE Group

A welcoming activity opened the meeting followed by an introduction to the meeting’s theme on equity in health and an update on CORE Group activities, upcoming events, and envolving identity.

CORE Board Directions- Judy Lewis


Dr. Isatou Jallow, Gender Unit Chief, World Food Program

Dr. Isatou Jallow has worked in the World Food Program/Rome since 2006. She currently serves as the Chief of WFP’s Gender Unit in the MCH Health Service, Policy Strategy and Support Division. With a degree in nutrition from the University of Oslo, Isatou has been a strong advocate for inter-sectoral nutrition programming throughout her career. She spent 18 years working in the nutrition field in Gambia, her home country, moving nutrition high on the development agenda of the country. She served as head of the Nutrition Unit in the Ministry of Health, as National Nutrition Coordinator, Secretary of the National Nutrition Council and as Executive Director of the National Nutrition Agency under the office of the Vice-President. Jallow has been active in the International Baby Food Action Network, Africa Advisory Committee and the Sub-Saharan Africa regional Design Team for the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology. She is a former member of the 2020 Africa Conference Advisory Committee on “Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020,” coordinated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and hosted by the Government of Uganda.

Lunch Roundtables

Knowledge for Health’s Photoshare, eToolkits, and POPLINE

Kate Stence, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Knowledge for Health Project

Knowledge for Health’s newly launched Photoshare site boasts thousands of international health and development images for free use. The updated website features a clean new design and expanded and enhanced services. The site also delivers a range of new photos, search display with thumbnail view, and faster processing of requests. K4Health eToolkits are electronic libraries of resources on a particular health topic that are vetted and selected by technical experts. Now, organizations building toolkits have even more choices over usability and customization from color templates to user ratings of toolkit resources. Finally, in need of expert health information? POPLINE® contains citations with abstracts to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished reports in the field of population, family planning, and related health issues.

K4H: Revamped for Your Success: Photoshare, Toolkits, eLearning Courses, and Popline- Stence

Narrative Impact of Health and Occupational Safety Messages

Lenette Golding, CARE

Numbers numb, jargon jars, and nobody ever marched into Washington because of a pie chart. Stories on the other hand, you know the ones that suck you in and transport you to other worlds, can make you perceive, feel and think about all sorts of things. Participants discussed recent research conducted on narrative impact and learned a little about what makes stories so powerful.

Narrative Impact of Health and Occupational Safety Messages

TOPS and the Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Network

Kathleen MacDonald, CORE Group Consultant

McDonald discussed the FSN Network, a new community of practice of food security and nutrition implementers modeled on CORE Group’s successful Community Health Network. The FSN Network – which is implemented by the USAID/FFP funded TOPS Program, is a primary mechanism for practitioner and technical specialist collaboration, through task forces, knowledge sharing tools and events, and development of a web resource portal. TOPS and program partner CORE welcome dialogue over how to strengthen the FSN Network to meet the needs of the implementing community.

Integrating Family Planning and Social Behavior Change: A Practical New Tool

Carol Hooks, Consultant

We know the value and impact FP can have. We also know that strengthening field offices’ capacities is badly needed, but can be too expensive and disruptive. Community Health Network is helping answer those challenges with a new tool: a 1.5-day training curriculum that field offices can take “off the shelf” and work through on their own. Based on the Designing for Behavior Change curriculum, this tool will be the “toe in the water,” starting a process for more and better social and behavior change work AND family planning integration at a site. Here’s the good news: it’s almost done!  Carol Hooks, the lead author,  provided and overview of the tool.

Integrating Family Planning and Social Behavior Change: A Practical New Tool- Hooks

Improving Health Equity

Jennifer Luna, Alex Ergo and Debra Prosnitz, MCHIP

This sessions generated a powerfull discussion about : (1) A simple adaptation of wealth quintile analysis that projects can use to track health equity, and (2) How to make use of USAID’s policy framework principle to “Promote gender equality and female empowerment,” as a means to improve health equity.

Do MCHIP-Supported Interventions Reach the Poor? How Can We Know- Ergo

Concurrent Sessions

More Than the Baby Blues? Post-Partum Depression’s Impact on MCH and What Can Be Done About It.

Shannon Senefeld, CRS; Carolyn Kruger, PCI; Kathryn Reider, WV; Janine Schooley, PCI

The World Health Organization estimates that one in three to one in five women in developing countries experience a significant mental health problem during pregnancy or after childbirth. Yet, very few health programs incorporate mental health components into care.This session covered an overview of the epidemiology, etiology, diagnosis and treatment of post-partum depression. The session also demonstrated the links between post-partum depression and breastfeeding, as well as highlighting examples of programs to intervene to support mothers at-risk for or suffering from post-partum depression.

More than Baby Blues- Senefeld, Kruger, Reider, Schooley

Challenges and Solutions of Operations Research for Community-Oriented Health Programs

Florence Nyangara, MCHIP; Kristina Gryboski, USAID; James Foreit, Population Council

This session provided participants with a variety of perspectives based on field experiences regarding the benefits and challenges of pursuing operations research studies embedded within public health programs. Experts shared practical information with those contemplating initiating or those in the midst of implementing operations research studies on how to identify and conceptualize research problems, develop actionable research questions, and the most effective way of getting high impact results from operations research studies.This sessions provided a brief overview of the operations research studies conducted by Child Survival and Health Grants Program (CSHGP) innovation grantees followed by presentations and discussions with operations research experts in the area of public health programs

Challenges & Solutions for Operations Research in Community-oriented Health Programs- Nyangara

What is OR? What can it do for you? What must you do for it?- Foreit

Promising Family Planning Tools in Progress

Victoria Graham and Nandita Thatte, USAID; Leah Elliott, ICF Macro

The presentations in this panel highlighted four specific CBFP tools that are currently in the pipeline, including:  1) FP Training Resource Package; 2) Facts of Family Planning; 3) CHW Counseling Tool; and 4) Family Planning Sustainability Checklist.

Creating Up-to-Date FP Providers Through Standardized Training Materials- Graham

Facts for Family Planning: A Resource for Standardized FP Messages- Graham

Integrating Family Planning & Social Behavior Change- Elliott

Innovation and Efficiencies in Vector Control: the Role of NGOs

Michael Macdonald, USAID; Gerhard Hesse, Bayer S.A.S. Environmental Science; Helen Pates Jamet, Vestergaard

Just as the mosquito vectors have evolved and adapted, so must our vector control measures. NGOs, working in collaboration with the national programs and industry partners can play a vital role in facilitating innovation and improved quality and efficiencies of vector control.  This sessions provided a discussion of some of the emerging technologies and explored the roles NGOs can play in their development, deployment, expansion and evaluation.

Working Group Planning Time

HIV/AIDS Comprehensive Model

TB/HIV: Why do we care about the intersection of epidemics?

Friday Oct. 14, 2011

Daily Facilitator: Lynette Friedman

CORE Group Update

Karen LeBan, Executive Director, CORE Group

The day started with an update on CORE Group activities including membership trends, new members andassociates, the Food Security& Nutrition (FSN) Network and collaboration with TOPS,  the partnership with MCHIP, and Working Group accomplishments over the past year.

State of CORE Group


Dr. John Borrazzo, MCH Division Chief, Bureau for Global Health and other USAID key informants

John Borrazzo is Chief of the Maternal and Child Division within the Bureau for Global Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Other colleagues from the Bureau for Global Health (BGH) joined Borrazzo to present and discuss current priorities and strategies in the BGH and how the BGH can partner with NGOs.

Making Sense of the Alphabet Soup for Maternal and Child Health Programs at USAID

Concurrent Sessions

Child Survival and Health Grants Program: Highlights from Around the World 

Laban Tsuma, MCHIP; Khrist Roy, CARE; Diana Dubois, Wellshare Int’l; Jennifer Weiss, Concern Worldwide; Kathleen Hill, CHS-URC

Four CSHGP grantees, whose projects represent a wide array of project types, technical interventions, and geographic areas, presented highlights from their work as they talked about opportunities/challenges and similarities/differences encountered in working through community platforms and engaging partnerships for effective service delivery.
CARE India (2008-2013): TB category grantee, Technical intervention focus: tuberculosis and CRADLE- CARE Nepal (2007-2011)
Concern Rwanda (2006-2011): Expanded impact category grantee, Technical intervention focus: child health
Wellshare International Tanzania (2006-2011): Standard category grantee, Technical intervention focus: maternal, newborn, and child health
CHS Ecuador (2009-2013): Innovation category grantee, Technical intervention focus: maternal and newborn care

From Unknown to the UN: What NCDs Mean for the Future of Community-Based Programming 

Paul Holmes, USAID; Craig Moscetti, Global Health Council; Charlotte Block, Project HOPE 
NCDs are in the headlines, at the UN, and on the minds of the global health community. But what are they, how are they impacting global health and what is and can be done to stem this burgeoning worldwide crisis? In this session speakers representing policy, government and NGOs about the current state of affairs and explored how your organization’s programming can address NCDs.

When Politics Collide with Epidemiology: Global NCD Policy
NCDs and the Future of Global Health

Implementing Best Practices for Preventing and Managing Post Partum Hemorrhage & Pre-eclampsia/Eclampsia: Where Are We and How Do We Move Forward? 

Alisha Ann Graves, Venture Strategies Innovations; Carmen Crow and Amanda Hovland, MCHIP/Jhpiego
MCHIP recently undertook a first of its kind: 31 country surveys of USAID supported programs to evaluate the policies and actions of national programs related to the prevention and management of postpartum hemorrhage and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia. They presented this data in the context of its relevance to NGOs & PVOs working in these areas. Venture Strategies Innovations also shared their lessons learned along the road to incorporating misoprostol in-country strategies to reduce post partum hemorrhage and present effective “how to” strategies.

Multicountry Analysis of Prevention of PPH and PE/E in USAID Program-Supported CountriesMisoprostol for PPH: Overcoming Challenges

USAID Nutrition Approach: Where are we now? Where are we going? How are we getting there?

Roshelle Payes, USAID; Rebecca Egan, USAID; Jennifer Nielsen, HKI
Learn USAID’s latest thinking drawn from the recent portfolio review about improving nutrition in the critical window (pregnancy and the first two years of life), including how to integrate nutrition objectives and indicators across development sectors.

USAID Nutrition Approach: Where are we now? Where are we going? How are we getting there?

Lunch Roundtable Sessions

Payday, Ponchos, or a Plethora of Incentives? A Community Health Worker Survey

Marie-Renée B-Lajoie, McGill University
Community health workers provide much needed preventative and curative health care in resource-limited settings, and increasingly in high resource settings as well. Optimal incentive and salary schemes will vary widely between contexts; however CHW incentives remain a contentious issue as donors and governments consider strategies to improve retention and the quality of their CHW programs and to budget for the most optimal incentive schemes in the long term.

Pediatric Psychology

Shannon Senefeld, CRS
This session provided a discussion of the role of psychology within pediatric populations and the possibilities for integrating psychology and behavioral health into pediatric programs.

Picture Perfect: A Discussion about Humanitarian Photography

Laura Elizabeth Pohl, Bread for the World
The photographs nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) use in their communications have a huge impact on public perceptions and responses to a humanitarian crisis. While most organizations have – thankfully – moved away from patronizing pictures of white saviors cuddling sick African kids, we still have a lot of work to do. This session provided a discussion to answer the question: How can NGOs improve and creatively use photography to meet their humanitarian communications goals?

Picture Perfect: A Discussion about Humanitarian Photography

SBC Book Reviews: Bornstein and Heath’s Views of Behavior Change

This session provided book reviews on How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas by David Bornstein and Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath.

Taking Care of a Baby at Home After Birth: What Families Need to Do

Claudia Morrissey, Saving Newborn Lives; Joan Haffey, CORE Group Consultant
This roundtable introduced Taking Care of a Baby at Home After Birth: What Families Need to Do, a joint effort of CORE Group, Saving Newborn Lives, American College of Nurse-Midwives and MCHIP. NGOs expressed the need for appropriate guidance for families, especially those with poor access to health services, on how to care for a newborn in the minutes and days after birth. The session introduced the material and key messages, including danger signs requiring immediate family action. This session also providied an update on how to engage with the Helping Babies Breathe neonatal resuscitation initiative, including priority countries for NGO involvement and country contact information.

USAID’s New Evaluation Policy—Implications for NGOs

Virginia Lamprecht, USAID
USAID’s new Evaluation Policy went into effect in January 2011. This session provided an overview of the Evaluation Policy, strategies to implement it and progress to date. Attendees also discussed how the Evaluation Policy relates to NGO programs supported by USAID.

Concurrent Sessions

Overcoming Scalability Challenges in CHW Programs 

Sarah Sullivan, Earth Institute; Jennifer Weiss, Concern Worldwide; Cailey Gibson, Living Goods; Allison Goldstein, Emory University; Yolanda Barbera, International Rescue Committee
INGOs shared factors contributing to the effectiveness and sustainability of their CHW programs while in the process of contributing to scale. This session provided insight about their approaches and activities about system level integration and support, as well as a description of a critical innovation that enabled them to achieve data-backed results in various settings.

CHWs in Global Health: Scale and ScalabilityThe Rwanda Expanded Impact Child Survival Project Experience 
Innovations for Scalability: Lessons from Living Goods’ Experience in Uganda
Integrating Community Volunteers and Health Extension Workers to Increase Scalability and Sustainability of the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) in Ethiopia
Improving Community Case Management of Pneumonia at Scale

Asserting the Rights of Childbearing Women: Tackling Disrespect and Abuse in Facility-based Maternity Care 

Mary Ellen Stanton, USAID; Rima Jolivet, White Ribbon Alliance
Every day in countries all around the world, pregnant women seeking maternity care from the health systems in their countries instead receive ill treatment that ranges from relatively subtle disrespect of their autonomy and dignity to outright abuse, humiliation, and cruelty: physical assault, verbal insults, discrimination, abandonment or detention in facilities for failure to pay. While the world has focused on overcoming financial and geographic obstacles to connecting women with life-saving maternity care, little has been done to expose, understand and tackle the significant barrier posed by disrespect and abuse of women in facilities and the violation of their basic rights that it represents. This session provided a discussion of the problem of disrespect and abuse in facility-based maternity care, and present advocacy approaches and tools under development by a growing community of concern, convened by WRA through the Health Policy Project, with support from USAID.

Respectful Maternity Care: Tackling Disrespect and Abuse During Facility-Based Childbirth

Unleashing the Power of Women and Girls:  A Summary of Economic Empowerment Approaches

Janine Schooley, PCI; Ben Rinehart, FHI360; Carrie Miller, CRS; Andrea Wilson, Aga Khan Foundation
Poverty and powerlessness are root cause of so many of the ills we are trying to address with our programs and are substantial barriers to the change we are attempting to bring about in the health and well being of families around the world. This session provided a discussion of what is being done to strengthen livelihoods, empower women and girls economically as well as socially and address these fundamental drivers of ill health for the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Savings-Led Economic & Social Empowerment: Women Empowering Themselves and Their Communities Household Economic Strengthening
My Skills, My Money, My Brighter FutureChitral Child Survival Program 

What’s New for Newborns: Research Findings from SNL2 

Claudia Morrissey and Allisyn Moran, Saving Newborn Lives

SNL staff shared the results from several recently-concluded research projects. These projects focused on introducing a package of preventive, promotive and curative newborn health interventions utilizing community health workers at the community level with linkages to first referral facilities. Presenters also shared work on benchmarking “scale-up readiness” in nine SNL focus countries.

What’s New for Newborns


Special Guest

Dr. Bartlett is a board-certified pediatrician, epidemiologist, and retired Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service. He is recently retired from USAID, where he worked for the last 20 years in the Bureau for Global Health. He is the author of 40 publications, and has been instrumental in championing the role of community health and NGOs. Dr. Bartlett is currently serving as the Interim Director of Saving Newborn Lives at Save the Children.

Critical Health Interventions Data