Understanding the experiences of CHT users through surveys

Building world class open source software is important in improving the quality of care in our communities. By ensuring that through this process, we focus on being people led, we are able to understand critical information from the onset thus focus on the right areas of improvement especially on user usability. 

At Medic we apply human centered design thinking across different roles – we work collaboratively as project managers, designers, tech leads, and others, and each team applies design thinking principles to their work. We also co-design and co-create with a wide array of users/personas who represent the communities we work with. 

User personas give us a common understanding of who we serve, particularly when working across diverse contexts. Our global personas are based on “typical” users, knowing that some variation is present in different settings. Being explicit about who we are designing with and for, and understanding what’s important to them helps us prioritize features, make better design decisions, and optimize impact. Community Health Workers (CHWs) are the central users of apps built with the Community Health Toolkit (CHT) Core Framework. CHWs conduct household visits and are responsible for being the primary point of contact of providing care in their community. 

One of the ways to understand CHW needs is through user research which could be either quantitative or qualitative. User research helps us to design solutions that are relevant to users, to build products that users find intuitive and to create designs that are easy and pleasurable to use.

Pic caption: Fatiha, Guild’s Service Designer completing a moderated survey with Jose, a settlement based VHT.

In Uganda, we are working with Guild Digital Solutions (Guild) on a project dubbed rCHMIS (Refugee Setting Community Health Management Information System). The project, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), seeks to design, configure and deploy a CHT powered solution that supports delivery of community health services in the refugee setting. 

In April 2022, the rCHMIS app was piloted with 27 CHWs in Kyaka II Refugee settlement in Uganda but is currently being used by 136 CHWs to support delivery of care. The rCHMIS app supports Antenatal Care (ANC), Postnatal Care (PNC), Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM), Water and Sanitation Health (WASH), and Sexual and Gender Based violence (SGBV) use cases. 

Survey Coverage

Together, we conducted a moderated survey with 27 CHWs. Guild personnel supported the survey by taking approximately 30 mins to interact with each CHW. The survey sought to understand the CHWs’ general experience with the CHT app and hence identify future opportunities for improvements of the CHT.

More specifically, the survey dived deep to identify different metrics key in influencing the scaling up the tool. These involved looking at the period that the CHWs used the CHT based app, ease of use of the app, intuitiveness & findability of the app, frequency of support with the app from project admins and supervisors, usefulness of the app and extent of use of paper tools. Detailed findings and discussion of the survey are outlined in the CHT forum – ensuring key learnings are available to the full CHT community. 

Medic and Guild are looking at ways in which we could test and replicate this application in other refugee settlements.

About Guild Digital Solutions.

Guild is a technology organization that is increasingly defining its preeminent niche in the ICT4D sub-sector. Through their individual and collective experiences, Guild supports development sector clients with the strategic infusion of technology within their mission driven work. Through their partnerships and collaboration, they help clients to design, develop and deploy digital technology solutions that fit purpose and align with the mission. Guild are a technical partner of Medic, the technical steward of Community Health Toolkit (CHT), and are using their technical expertise with the CHT to support the customization and delivery of community health services in refugee communities in Uganda.

Some members of the Guild team take a break during a field deployment with the CHT.

If you are interested in collaborating with us on any user research activities, please feel free to reach out to me at leah@medic.org.

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