Impact in action

Case Studies in Community Health Programming for the International Program in Public Health Leadership at the University of Washington

Developed teaching case studies for fellows based on Exemplars in Global Health research on a community health worker program in Liberia

CHWs cross a small river bridge to bring care to a community in rural Liberia.
©Rachel Larson / Last Mile Health


What was the problem to be solved?

The International Program in Public Health Leadership (IPPHL) at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington, expands the policy and leadership acumen of public health leaders throughout Africa to collectively transform health systems.

IPPHL asked Exemplars in Global Health to create a set of case studies for fellows to explore, analyze, and discuss as part of the program. To ensure the case studies would be relatable to the fellows, the goal was to highlight the African context and emphasize learning from successes rather than challenges.

What support did Exemplars in Global Health provide?

Our team and partners generated two teaching case studies that distilled lessons learned from Liberia’s national community health worker program. We also helped develop teaching guides and supplementary notes for instructors. To develop the two case studies, we adapted the Liberia community health worker narrative (available at into the following thematic areas:

  • Leadership and policy development. How to analyze a problem, generate corresponding policy options, and set evaluation criteria.
  • Program design and implementation. How to conduct stakeholder mapping and mobilization, agenda setting, capacity assessment, and program mapping.

We worked with our research partners, Last Mile Health and the University of Liberia, to expand and shape the content for academic learners and program-specific discussions. We also included supplementary learnings such as interview footage with key decision makers and Ministry of Health stakeholders compiled during our research.



Exemplars in Global Health generated a set of case studies that highlight positive lessons and replicable practices in leadership, policy development, and program design and implementation for public health leaders throughout Africa.

The case studies and supplementary materials were incorporated into the IPPHL curriculum and have helped facilitate discussion and learning among the program fellows. The materials also fed into group exercises designed by IPPHL By featuring experiences and voices from Africa, the case studies equip the fellows with context-specific details and insights, challenging them to consider how they could adapt the practices to transform health systems in their own countries.

More broadly, we see the work as an example of making educational case studies and context-specific lessons learned available to global health educators and the next generation of public health leaders. We see the potential to adapt these case studies and approaches to other programs that seek to include a positive outlier lens for their learners.


Interested in learning more about community health workers?

Explore our platform to learn more about community health workers, understand cross-cutting lessons from Exemplar countries working in community health, or read perspectives on community health workers from our partners.

Reach out to the Exemplars in Global Health team to learn more about the work described in this article or to discuss how we can support your work.

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