While many Ministry of Health (MoH) community health strategies around the world include community health committees, the reality on the ground shows that these groups are often weak and poorly supported. Literature and field experience suggest that before the strength of individual groups can be considered, there are fundamental programmatic, structural and policy elements that must be in place in order for the community health committee programs to function effectively. It was felt that ministries and partners could benefit from a tool that listed and described these recommended programming components, to use for assessment and programming improvements.
This tool has been developed to help Ministries of Health and supporting organizations to assess community and health facility committee program functionality against 14 elements deemed essential for program success; to review the scope of roles and responsibilities intended for the groups; to identify existing program strengths, and to address those elements assessed as weak. Note that the tool is not intended to assess individual community or health facility groups but rather to assess the functionality of the program as a whole, in line with the understanding that the prerequisites must be in place first, before the strength of the groups themselves can be considered.