CORE Group Fall Meeting 2013

In by Avani Duggaraju

CORE Group’s Fall Meeting was an incredible success bringing together 215 participants from over 77 organizations working all over the world. We are incredibly thankful to all participants and sponsors, including K4Health and Hesperian Health Guides.

Meeting Report 
At-A-Glance Agenda
Program Booklet
Tuesday Pre-meeting Sessions
Wednesday Sessions
Thursday Sessions
Friday Multisectoral Anemia Partners Meeting 
Participant List

CORE Group extends a very special thank you to our Event Sponsors:


k4healthsmall             Hesperian_Final_Logo_rgb_hi-res

  Bronze Sponsor                                   Reception Sponsor

 Listen to what participants thought about the Fall Meeting:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pre-Meeting Sessions

Introducing: Two New Resources for Community Health Worker Programming

Henry Perry,Senior Associate, Bloomberg School of Public Health Johns Hopkins University
Ram Shrestha, Senior Quality Improvement Advisor Community Health and Nutrition, USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) – URC
Allison Annette Foster,Senior Advisor and Team Lead for Health Workforce Development, USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) – URC

This session provided a discussion of the latest materials for improving and advancing community health worker (CHW) pro- gramming and scale-up. Two new products: A Decision-Making Tool for CHW Program Development and Developing and Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs at Scale: Guidance for Program Managers and Policy Makers were introduced and discussed by lead authors and contributors from the USAID-supported ASSIST Project (Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems) and the MCHIP Project (Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program).

Introducing Two New Resources for CHW Programming_A. Foster, R. Shrestha, H. Perry, and K. LeBan
Decision Making Tool for CHW Programs_R. Shrestha, A. Foster, and Sidhartha Deka
Gender Analysis for Global Health Programs

Jennifer PendletonSenior Gender Advisor, Futures Group
Elisabeth Rottach, Gender Advisor, Futures Group
Joy CunninghamTechnical Advisor, FHI 360This session focused on gender analysis for global health programs for participants to increase their understanding of USAID’s Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy. The sessions also helped participants become more conversant with gender terminology, increased abilities to apply gender guidance across programs and shared examples of how a gender analysis informed programming and/or successful or unsuccessful attempts at gender appropriate programming.

Gender Analysis For Global Health Programs_J. Pendleton, E. Rottach, and J. Cunningham

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Welcome & Overview

Karen LeBan,Executive Director, CORE Group

CORE Group Strategic Planning Update

Judy Lewis,BOD Chair, CORE Group

CORE Group Welcome and Strategic Planning Update_J. Lewis

Keynote: Harnessing the Power of Civil Society to End Preventable Child Deaths

Geeta Rao GuptaDeputy Executive Director (Programmes), UNICEF

Geeta spoke about the role of civil society in curbing preventable child deaths. Through action and advocacy, civil society organizations are increasingly shaping and driving the global agenda for maternal, newborn and child survival. Of the many contributions that civil society organizations make to this agenda, one of the most potent is their demand for accountability. As the watchdogs of society, civil society organizations are uniquely well placed to monitor and report on the commitments made by governments. To make a lasting impact, the data and analysis generated by civil society needs to be disseminated throughout society. Accountability for MDGs 4 and 5 can only be strengthened if citizens know about the commitments their governments have made and understand what is at stake for women and children. By educating citizens, mobilizing networks and organizing communities to take direct action, civil society can ignite a social movement that demands accountability for the promises made on behalf of women and children.

Dory Storms Award Presentation

Ellen Vor der Bruegge
Sarah Shannon
, Executive Director, Hesperian Health Guides

Dory Storms Award Presentation

Concurrent AM Sessions

Social Accountability in Health Programming: From Evidence to Impact

Jeff ThindwaManager, Social Accountability Practice, World Bank Institute (Moderator)
Sara Gullo,Technical Advisor for Sexual, Reproductive and Maternal Health, CARE
Beth OuttersonAdvisor, Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health, Save the Children
Jeff Hall,Director for Local Advocacy, World Vision

Social accountability has gained traction as a key element to furthering the millennium development goals. World Bank staff will describe the conceptual theory and evidence around the term Social Accountability and how it shows promise in developmental terms, stemming from the seminal 2004 World Bank World Development Report on improving essential services for the poor. Representatives from three NGOs described their respective methodologies, progress in implementation and promising findings from recent research. CORE Group Members learned firsthand about one specific methodology and how it has been effective in improving social accountability that is sustainable at the community level.

Understanding Social Accountability_J. Thindwa
Community Scorecard_S. Gullo
Partnership Defined Quality: A Metholody to Build Social Accountability_B. Outterson
Citizen Voice and Action_J. Hall

SMART-Standardizing Measurements of Nutrition and Mortality Information

Victoria SauveplaneSMART Program Manager, ACF-Canada

SMART (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions) is an inter-agency initiative, launched in 2002 by a network of organizations and humanitarian practitioners including donors, policymakers and leading experts in emergency epidemiology and nutrition, food security, early warning systems and demography. SMART advocates a multi-partner, systematized approach to provide critical, reliable information for decision-making and to establish shared systems and resources for host government partners and humanitarian organizations. The SMART Methodology is a standardised, simplified field survey methodology which produces a snapshot of the current situation on the ground. In order to provide the best available data for decision-making and recourse allocation, SMART can be used to evaluate:

  • Prevalence of malnutrition (acute, chronic or underweight) and the mortality rate of the population
  • Nutritional impact of a project when there is already a baseline for comparison.

Smart Methodology_V. Sauveplane

iCCM in Action: Results from Three Implementation Research Studies

Sara RieseResearch Advisor, TRAction, URC
Colin GilmartinTechnical Officer, MSH

The Translating Research into Action (TRAction) project is a five-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Cooperative Agreement. This health research grants project focuses on maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) and other related services, seeking to address the “know-do” gap in the translation of research validating new and effective interventions into scaled-up use in field programs.

Many low income countries are struggling to implement iCCM programs due to uncertainty about the structures and strategies needed to ensure iCCM success.  In order to reduce such uncertainty and support the roll-out of iCCM more broadly, TRAction is supporting research on three iCCM focus areas: developing cost and financing tools; strategies for improving monitoring of iCCM programs; and investigating effective policy development processes. These areas were chosen because of their relevance to iCCM planning and implementation in low and middle income countries. The three studies are coming to a close, and during this session, TRAction presented some of the preliminary findings and how these findings relate to the larger iCCM body of evidence.

iCCM in Action_S. Riese

Collaborating, Learning and Adapting: USAID’s New Approach to Program Learning and Improvement

Ann Hendrix-JenkinsDirector, K4Health
Sarah Shannon,Executive Director, Hesperian Health Guides

Attention is a scarce resource: How to reach and be reached with just the right: what, when and how.

K4Health is adapting concepts from other sectors to create Social Knowledge Management for Health and Development (SKM). Capitalizing on the tectonic shifts that characterize our age, SKM moves from hierarchies to networks; top-down to two-way to many-to-many; closed, controlled and proprietary to free, fluid and open; and most importantly, data-centric to people-centric. But what does all this mean in real life? K4Health and Hesperian paired up to use social knowledge management techniques to create a learning environment that addresses the question: how and when do we reach our audiences/colleagues/field staff with specifically what they need? And in this age of information overload (for “highly connected people”) and information disparity (for those living and working in less connected settings) how do we adroitly address the spectrum of needs?

Concurrent PM Sessions

Building Women’s Assets and Status:  Findings from Intervention and Policy Research

Mara van den BoldResearch Analyst, International Food Policy Research Institute
Shalini RoyPost-Doctoral Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute
Neha KumarResearch Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute
Jennifer Nielsen,Senior Program Managerfor Nutrition & Health, Helen Keller International (Facilitator)
Agnes Quisumbing,Senior Research Fellowand Co-Team Leader for the Gender & Assets in Agriculture Program, International Food Policy Research Institute (Facilitator)

IFPRI is one of the global leaders in rigorous research designed to identify program interventions and policy initiatives that enhance women’s access to and control of the range of assets that empower them to contribute to family health, income and the escape from poverty. This panel shared findings from research conducted by the Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division on:

  • Changes in women’s ownership of agricultural assets and in community norms regarding land ownership from
  • Research undertaken within a pilot of HKI’s Enhanced Homestead Food Production program in Burkina Faso;
  • The unintended negative impacts on women’s ownership of assets and their decision making power regarding savings, expenditures and income resulting from Challenging the Frontier of Poverty Reduction-Targeting the Ultra-Poor Program (CFPR-TUP) ,  a livestock asset transfer and training program implemented in Bangladesh by BRAC; and
  • The mutually reinforcing positive effects of reforms in community-based land registration and the Family Code introduced in Ethiopia on women’s rights and welfare.

Can Integrated Agriculture-Nutrition Programs Change Gender Norms on Land and Asset Ownership_M. Bold
Policy Reform Toward Gender Equality in Ethiopia_N. Kumar and A. Quisumbing
How do Intrahousehold Dynamics Change When Assets are Transferred to Women?_J. Behrman, A. Quisumbing, and S. Roy

Cross-Sectoral Referrals and Program Linkages

Mandy SwannHealth Specialist, FHI 360
Jim McCafferySenior Advisor, Training Resources Group (TRG)
Roshan RamlalDesign and Development Officer, World Vision

Practitioners are increasingly working across sectors to more holistically meet the needs of individuals, households and communities. This session profiled three different programs that use cross-sectoral approaches to improve health and social outcomes, including examples of mechanisms that facilitate referrals.

FHI 360 shared recent learning related to the development of cross-sectoral referral systems that will unite health sector clients with food security and livelihoods services, including a method for organizational network mapping to begin strengthening service networks, and an economic and food security diagnostic tool to assess household poverty and food security of health facility clients. World Vision discussed how they improve protection from infection and disease for families and improve access to essential health and social services through more efficient and effective case management using mobile health technology. TRG explored systemic approaches utilizing multi-sectoral social service workforce teams to support cross-sectoral collaboration.

Cross-Sectoral Referrals and Program Linkages_M.Swann, J. McCaffery, and R. Ramlal

Prevention of Preterm Birth and Complications: So What?

James A. LitchDirector, Perinatal Interventions Program, Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS)/Seattle Children’s Hospital and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Global Health, University of Washington
Sarah AlexanderDirector, External Relations, GAPPS/Seattle Children’s Hospital
Courtney  GravettProgram Officer, GAPPS/Seattle Children’s Hospital
Carolyn KrugerSenior Advisor, Maternal Newborn and Child Health, Project Concern International

Did you know 75% of preterm deaths can be averted with simple, low-tech interventions? This presentation presented a practical approach to the prevention of preterm birth and complications by focusing on evidence that supports a priority list of ready interventions and approaches to implementation. Recent research on the lasting effects of prematurity on childhood health, development and adult illness were discussed, including preventive and supportive strategies to help preterm survive and thrive as productive members of their communities. Practical ideas on how to integrate community approaches to prevention and ready interventions were offered, as well as how to leverage existing program investments.  Included in the discussion was an update on the policy environment and available resources.

Prevention of Preterm Birth and Complications_J. Litch
Advocacy on Preterm Birth-S. Alexander
Preterm Birth, So What?_C. Gravett
Prevention of Preterm Birth- C. Kruger

Advantages and Disadvantages of Integration: Opportunities for Early Childhood Development and Nutrition Programming

Pablo A. Stansbery, UNICEF
Fe Garcia, World Vision

A growing body of evidence supports the notion that integrated programs addressing nutrition and stimulation provide stronger impacts on nutritional and developmental outcomes than either intervention alone. When translating evidence into practice, several advantages and challenges for integration can be noted. Combined interventions may be more efficient than separate interventions because they are intended for the same population and make use of the same facilities, transportation and client contacts. In addition, for families, particularly for those most at risk, combined interventions can also lead to increased access to services. However, in order for integrated nutrition and ECD interventions to be successful, a variety of challenges must be addressed. These include work load of staff and supervisors, communication and coordination among different ministries and among staff in different sectors and common language and measurement.  It must be acknowledged at both the national and community levels that comprehensive, integrated care addressing both the physical and developmental needs of the child is key to promoting optimal health, growth and development for children.  Emergencies present a unique opportunity for integrated services, but also present several unique challenges in addition to those mentioned above.

Early Childhood Development + Health/Nutrition_P. Stansbery
Early Childhood Development “WAYA” (Where Are You At?)_F. Garcia

Working Group Sessions

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Equity and Empowerment – When Communities Own Their Future 

Sarah ShannonExecutive Director, Hesperian Health Guides
Laura AltobelliPeru Country Director and Senior Health Advisor, Future Generations
Ram Shrestha, Senior Quality Improvement Advisor for Community Health and Nutrition, University Research Co., LLC (URC)
Hannah Sarah DiniProgram Manager, CHW Scale Up, Earth Institute

2013 marks the 35th Anniversary of Alma-Ata, which called for the collective attention and action to protect and promote the health of all the people of the world with a special emphasis on multi-sectoral approaches, equity, health for all as the foundation for economic and social development, community participation and health systems that could adequately respond to the needs of all communities. In addition to celebrating the progress that has been achieved since Alma-Ata, this session highlighted some of the key landmark events that have contributed to achieving this visionary declaration and/or are part of its on-going development and manifestation. Hesperian Health Guides is celebrating 40 years with “Where There Is no Doctor,” Future Generations is completing a 10-year review of field implementation and testing of SEED-SCALE methodology (developed by Carl E. Taylor and Daniel Taylor); Nepal will be celebrating 25 years of their Female Community Health Volunteer program. Each speaker shared successes and lessons learned reflecting the broader evolution and contribution of community focused and CHW programs addressing equity and empowerment at scale.

Equity and Empowerment: When Communities Own Their Future_S. Shannon
Seed-Scale: Lessons Learned from Field Applications_L. Altobelli
25 Years of Nepal’s FCHV Program: Lessons Learned_R. Shrestha

Lunch Roundtables

I Am, We Are:  A “Share Session” on How to Stimulate a Culture of Learning in Your Organization

Lenette GoldingSenior Technical Advisor, Health Equity Unit, CARE
Lani MarquezKnowledge Management Director, USAID ASSIST Project, University Research Co., LLC

Knowledge management is a range of strategies and practices used to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizational processes or practice. (Wikipedia)

CORE Group Member Organizations and their staff represent a tremendous body of knowledge about how to deliver high-impact services at the community level. Yet we all have experienced the challenges of ensuring that all we know and all our field teams know, gets transferred across programs and countries. Knowledge management (KM) is about using deliberate and not-always-so-complicated methods to draw out all the learning and experience among implementers and making that knowledge available to others to apply.  Drawing on the experience and insights of participants, this lunch roundtable served up a heaping portion of KM ideas to draw on CORE Group Members’ best tips and advice for overcoming challenges to facilitating the transfer of learning among implementers

I Am, We Are: “Share Session” on How to Stimulate a Culture of Learning in Your Organization_L. Golding and L. Marquez

Improving and Sustaining the Performance of CHWs

Lee LoseyDeputy Director/Senior Technical Advisor, CORE Group Polio Project
Meg LynchSenior Program Officer, CORE Group Polio Project

This sessions discussed how to improve and sustain the performance of Community Health Workers (CHWs). The speakers discussed best practices and challenges in supporting the work of CORE Group Polio Project CHWs in the four project countries.

Measuring Respectful Maternity Care & Updates to the KPC 

Eva BazantSenior Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Advisor, Jhpiego
Jennifer Winestock LunaSenior Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, ICF International

This roundtable discussed how to measure respectful maternity care and what is planned for the KPC.

Facilitated Discussion on Conducting Quality Final Program Evaluations of the Child Survival and Health Grants Program 

Tanvi Monga,Program Associate, ICF International
Florence NyangaraSenior Technical Specialist, ICF International

With the release of the Evaluation Policy in January 2011, USAID made a commitment to quality program evaluation. The Child Survival and Health Grants programs (CSHGP) has aligned Final Evaluation guidance with this new policy to better identify, document, and understand what works and what doesn’t, in maternal, newborn and child health programming. This session facilitated discussion with participation from several stakeholders including the PVO/NGO community (implementers) and external evaluators.

K4Health and HC3

JHU-CCP’s Knowledge for Health Project (K4Health)  and Health Communication Capacity Collaborative Project (HC3) are here to serve global health managers, implementers and providers. The roundtable generated discussion about what is needed, how it’s needed, and when it’s needed.

Concurrent PM Sessions

Youth in Conflict Settings:  Empowerment through SRH Services

Sandra KrauseReproductive Health Program Director, Women’s Refugee Commission
Brad KernerAdolescent Reproductive Health Advisor, Save the Children
Melissa SharerProject Director, JSI (AIDSTAR-One)
Marcy LevySenior OVC Advisor, JSI (AIDSTAR-One)

Nearly 85 percent of the world’s young people live in developing countries, where most humanitarian crises occur. However, the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of these young people are widely unmet. SRH services for young people during emergency situations must be innovative, accessible and culturally appropriate. At this session the panel introduced the topic detailing adolescent health challenges in humanitarian settings to frame the discussion. This included a presentation detailing why this is an important topic, especially as it relates to the work of CORE Group Members. The Women’s Commission provided an overview and introduction to the topic and present findings from a recent collaborative report “Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings: An in-depth look at family planning services.” This presentation included a discussion of program mapping, funding analysis and highlighted success stories.  Additionally two relevant toolkits were presented that address adolescent health concerns in humanitarian settings. Save the Children presented on their interactive, eLearning tool to develop management plans for adolescent programming in humanitarian settings, including its application with Syrian adolescent refugees.  AIDSTAR-One presented on the recently developed Clinical Management of Children and Adolescents who have experienced Sexual Violence: Technical Considerations for PEPFAR Programs and discuss its application among policy makers in sub-Saharan Africa. AIDSTAR-One also presented their post-rape care technical considerations for children and adolescents and its application at the policy level in Tanzania.

Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Humanitarian Settings_B. Kerner
The Clinical Management of Children and Adolescents Who Have Experienced Sexual Violence_M. Sharer and M. Levy

Empowering Health Workers to Provide Quality Care

Ariel-Higgens-SteelePolicy and Knowledge Management Specialist, Concern Worldwide US
Sarla ChandSenior Advisor to the CEO/President, IMA World Health
Allison Annette FosterSenior Advisor and Team Lead for Health Workforce Development, USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) – URC

What can influence the quality of care delivery? There are a number of variables that contribute to how well health workers are able to deliver services and provide care. Do some work better than others?

During this session, three groups shared their ongoing work in exploring health workforce development and quality care. Their presentations provided snapshots into three different approaches to supporting better quality care.

  • PSYCHO SOCIAL SUPPORT TO HEALTH PROVIDERS: Ariel Higgins-Steele, of Concern Worldwide US, shared their team’s study in Sierra Leone, which is showing positive effects of individual counseling, training and support on managing health workers’ stress and improving their motivation and job satisfaction.
  • PERFORMANCE BASED INCENTIVES: Dr. Sarla Chand, of IMA World Health, presented the early findings from her team’s work in South Sudan where Performance Based Contracting (PBC) has increased accountability and efficiency by engendering greater ownership of the health facilities providers, and has ultimately resulted in improved service delivery.
  • QUALITY IMPROVEMENT APPLIED TO MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE: Allison Annette Foster’s team, with the USAID ASSIST project, has found that quality improvement practices helped managers at the District Level in Tanzania to improve their role as managers and thus provide better support to their facilities.

Empowering Health Workers Through Psychosocial Support Techniques In Sierra Leone_A. Higgins-Steele

Performance Based Financing_S. Chand

Questions for Empowering Health Workers to Provide Quality Care_S. Chand

Improving Performance District Management Level_A. Foster

Integrating Family Planning & Nutrition: The Why, How and Future of Funding

Agnes Guyon, Senior Technical Advisor, SPRING
Rae Galloway, Nutrition Team Lead, MCHIP
Kristina Beall, SBCC Project Officer, SPRING
Chelsea CooperBCC Advisor, MCHIP; USAID

Recent evidence shows that birth-to-pregnancy intervals of less than 24 months increase risks for maternal and child mortality and child undernutrition (stunting and underweight). Maternal and child health and nutrition and Family Planning (FP) programs and services are often available at different contact points with mothers. Given that birth spacing of 24 months or more can improve child health, nutrition and survival, it makes sense technically to provide both nutrition and family planning counseling at each contact with mothers. This dynamic session looked deeper into the rationale behind integrating these two seemingly distinct intervention areas and provide the opportunity for in-depth discussions on current integration efforts.

This was an interactive session that featured expert-led roundtables discussing country-specific approaches to FP and nutrition integration. This session allowed time for in-depth conversations on the how-to of these integration efforts, including discussion on challenges, opportunities and lessons learned. The session concluded with an open conversation with session presenters and representatives from USAID regarding the growing focus on FP.

Integrated Service Delivery of Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) and Family Planning (FP) Services in Kenya Briefer

In-Country Advocacy in an Alphabet Soup World:  Advocacy Across the Various Global-Level Initiatives

Vichit Ork, Senior Program Officer, EDD and Pneumonia Project Manager, PATH/Cambodia
Ashley Latimer, Advocacy & Outreach Officer, PATH

This session provided an overview of the various global level initiatives–related to child health–that are concurrently underway (including UNCoLSC, GAPPD, Every Woman Every Child, A Promise Renewed, etc.) and how they align. Presenters shared resources and toolkits that are available for program and advocacy staff to use at a country level. The session also featured an in-depth look at work in Cambodia, where a global level framework has influenced country level initiatives, particularly around diarrhea and pneumonia.

In-Country Advocacy in an Alphabet Soup World_V. Ork and A. Latimer

Working Group Report Out

Working Groups Report Out

Inspiration Shop

This year, CORE Group closed the meeting by asking what inspires, informs, motivates, and sustains their global health and development work.

Lenette Golding, Senior Technical Advisor, Health Equity Unit, CARE, shared a powerful, personal story about how losing her parents taught her that the two most important things we have in life are time and each other! Lenette reminded us to focus on the people we serve and how we make them feel, and that “any solutions rest in the relationship between us…All we have is each other.”

Tom Davis, Chief Program officer, Food for the Hungry, Chief Program Officer, TOPS, shared reminded us of how inspiring our work really is, especially when it just keeps getting better and better with child deaths decreasing worldwide. He pointed out that,”we strengthen ourselves when we pour our lives out for others through the work we do.” He also encouraged us to tap into the volunteer pool as new resources to build the momentum to end preventable child deaths.

Inspiration Shop Slides

CORE Group Fall Meeting 2013 Summary

Summary Presentation_Judy Lewis

Friday, October 18, 2013 – Multisectoral Anemia Partners Meeting

View a webinar recording of the event:

View a summary of the event through live tweets here.

Download the Agenda and Participants Guide.


Agriculture Interventions (PDF)

Eric Boy, HarvestPlus, CGIAR

Building on Uganda’s Progress in Reducing Anemia: From Evidence to Action (PDF)

Manisha Tharaney, SPRING Project

Trends in Anemia Prevalence and Control Programs in Rwanda (PDF)

Rae Galloway, MCHIP

A multi – country analysis: Anemia data in evaluating impact of malaria interventions (PDF)

Rene Salgado, USAID