Who are Community Health Workers? What is their role in the community? How are they integrated into the healthcare system?
What if a visual representation could answer all these questions by synthesising the CHW service model in a single and simple view?
Turning complex multi-layered service systems into visual frameworks has emerged as an effective and powerful way to synthesise the information in a sharable form, which facilitates the dialogue with an extended and heterogeneous group of interlocutors.
It happened along the Backpack Plus project, an initiative promoted by UNICEF and other international partners with the purpose of empowering Community Health Workers on a global scale.
The visual framework, which was created to describe the service model (representing actors, tools and relationships), was a key companion across the entire journey. At first it was a way to capture initial thinking and support internal alignment. Then during the field research in Uganda and Senegal it became an instrument to collect and compare insights and facilitate conversations with local stakeholders. Lastly, the framework was enriched to include an organised representation of all the tangible and intangible service components, turning into an assessment tool to evaluate alternative service models country by country.
At each stage, the visual framework was demonstrated to have a broader impact than expected: by facilitating the effective transfer of information, it became at the same time the key vehicle and the key message of the whole innovation process across phases, contexts and interlocutors.