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'Whose failure counts?' A critical reflection on definitions of failure for community health volunteers providing HIV self-testing in a community-based HIV/TB intervention study in urban Malawi.

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Sambakunsi, Rodrick, Kumwenda, Moses, Choko, Augustine, Corbett, Elizabeth L and Desmond, Nicola ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2874-8569 (2016) ''Whose failure counts?' A critical reflection on definitions of failure for community health volunteers providing HIV self-testing in a community-based HIV/TB intervention study in urban Malawi.'. Anthropology & Medicine, Vol 22, Issue 3, pp. 234-249.

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Abstract

The category of community health worker applied within the context of health intervention trials has been promoted as a cost-effective approach to meeting study objectives across large populations, relying on the promotion of the concept of 'community belonging' to encourage altruistic volunteerism from community members to promote health. This community-based category of individuals is recruited to facilitate externally driven priorities defined by large research teams, outside of the target research environment. An externally defined intervention is then 'brought to' the community through locally recruited community volunteers who form a bridge between the researchers and participants. The specific role of these workers is context-driven and responsive to the needs of the intervention. This paper is based on the findings from an annual evaluation of community health worker performance employed as community counsellors to deliver semi-supervised HIV self-testing (HIVST) at community level of a large HIV/TB intervention trial conducted in urban Blantyre, Malawi. A performance evaluation was conducted to appraise individual service delivery and assess achievements in meeting pre-defined targets for uptake of HIVST with the aim of improving overall uptake of HIVST. Through an empirical 'evaluation of the evaluation' this paper critically reflects on the position of the community volunteer through the analytical lens of 'failure', exploring the tensions in communication and interpretation of intervention delivery between researchers and community volunteers and the differing perspectives on defining failure. It is concluded that community interventions should be developed in collaboration with the population and that information guiding success should be clearly defined.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 546 Local Health Administration. Community Health Services
WC Communicable Diseases > WC 20 Research (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503 Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV infections
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503.1 Diagnosis
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 200 Tuberculosis (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Clinical Sciences & International Health > Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Programme (MLW)
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1080/13648470.2015.1077202
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2019 13:35
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2019 14:20
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/10236

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