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Digital solutions for community worker training and for community sensitisation via phone

This question was posted the COVID-19 and nutrition programming forum area and has 4 replies.

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Nutrition advisor

Normal user

8 Apr 2020, 15:18

Hello everyone, I am aware there are quite a number of digital solutions (chatbot, apps, sms messaging) being contextualised or set up to support the COVID response. Considering feasibility in low-setting contextes, I would be grateful if you could share some information, and/or link to potentials digital tools (applications) that could be used for remote training of community volunteers via smartphone using mainly videos such as the ones produced by Medical Aid Films or Global Health Media Project.

Ciara Hogan

Nutrition Specialist

Normal user

22 Apr 2020, 07:51

Dear Marlene,

Thanks for sharing your question and the details of the video sources, I have learned something new. I am in Somalia with UNICEF and we are also working on getting information to CHWs. We intend to use Rapid-Pro for data collection and are encouraging partners to train CHWs over the phone or safely face-to-face with a guided PPT presentation we shared with them over Zoom. If you're in a setting where your CHWs have smartphones and can access the internet a training/webinar over Zoom or a similar platform could be a good option. If you're in a country where people can call into Zoom for free that could work for people with poorer internet connections. You could also share a PDF of the training material via a WhatsApp if people had access to it and this wouldn't require a lot of data. Also interested to hear how others are managing this. 



Sona Sharma

SBC Advisor, Tech RRT

Normal user

27 Apr 2020, 15:11

Dear Marlene,

It is generally advised to use existing platforms/tools online that the community volunteers are familiar with, to avoid having to train them on using a new tool, unless of course it is a tool contextualized to the project requrement.

To share an example, the Action Against Hunger team in Cambodia have created a Facebook page with a closed group for training Care Group Leaders and Members. The team has locally produced training videos and uploaded them on the page. They are being trained on simple video editing tools and tips to improve the audio-visual quality as well as increasing engagement with the participants. CGLs and CGMs have joined the group and are going through the training sessions. This is a very recent initiative so there isn’t a documentation of the effort yet, but will be happy to share more details directly, if interested. (please write to me at

However, here are the links for a couple of free mobile apps that allow content customization for training (though I haven't found any health sector intervention using them): (this app has been used for education so far, but with customization of content now possible, it should be possible to create/upload other content too)

Another interesting strategy can be seen at

Hope these are useful.

GTAM Wasting TWG

Emergency Nutrition Network

Frequent user

18 May 2020, 17:59

The GTAM workstream on Wasting and Risk is looking to compile a list of apps and videos that can be used for training CHWs remotely. Please do share any tools that you are using in your programmes.

Anne Merewood

Director, CHEERing

Normal user

18 May 2020, 19:46

CHEERing is using mutiple methods to reach refugees with COVID and infant feeding related messaging. We have multiple short PDFs that can be downloaded in Arabic, French, Farsi, Greek and English (and upcoming, Kurmanji) from our website. We also have a YouTube channel where we make short videos (very short) in the same languages. We put links to these tools onto our Facebook and Instagram accounts and we have requested and been given permission to join several social media networks used by refugees in the camps (mostly Arabic language channels). We also use WhatsApp and Linked In. In this way we hope to target both direct 'consumers' and agencies who work with them and need accurate, evidence based updated information in digestible form. You can find our presentations at Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information. Unfortunately, although we do track use, it's not perfect tracking. Our Arabic PDF on Infant Feeding and COVID-19 for example, has been downloaded 260 times. We enjoy seeing comments from refugee families like, "see, we knew we could breastfeed!". We are working on cartoon and live versions to improve appeal.

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