Community Health Volunteers: A Model for Social Change?

Name of Award

GHR Innovative Scholarship Grant

Date Awarded



Public Health

Project Description

This proposal aims to further explore the role of Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) working with Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) and delve into a new area of research that evaluates the experience of the community health volunteer herself. The proposed research includes a qualitative assessment using focus group discussions in parallel with a quantitative analysis of the CMMB programming in Peru.

CHVs play a critical role in primary health care delivery, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. They are considered trusted and respected leaders in their communities. Though there is substantial evidence about the impact CHVs have on healthcare delivery, there is less focus on the CHVs themselves. Peru are fighting against a social norm that believes a woman’s place is in her home serving her husband and children. As such, the experience of the CHV can be empowering which can have major societal implications: not only do empowered women fight for equality, they can be a model for adolescent girls to show that an alternative future is possible where there are limited opportunities for young women and girls.

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