Gender and Health Social Enterprises in Africa: A Research Agenda

Health social enterprises in Africa working with community health workers (CHWs) are growing rapidly but understudied. In particular, gender equality issues related to their work has important public health and equity implications. Particularly suited for generating timely findings from reviews at the intersection of overlapping disciplines, we utilized the rapid evidence assessment (REA) methodology to identify key unanswered research questions at the intersection of the fields of gender equality, social enterprises and community health workers. The REA used a series of structured Google Scholar searches, expert interviews and bibliography reviews to identify 57 articles in the academic and grey literature that met the study inclusion criteria. Articles were thematically coded to identify answers to “What are the most important research questions about the influence of gender on CHWs working with health social enterprises in Africa?” The analysis identified six key unanswered research questions relating to 1) equitable systems and structures; 2) training; 3) leadership development and career enhancement; 4) payment and incentives; 5) partner, household and community support; and 6) performance. This is the first study of its kind to identify the key unanswered research questions relevant to gender equality in health social enterprises in Africa using community health workers. As such, it sets out a research agenda for this newly emerging but rapidly developing area of research and practice with important public health implications.

Authors: McKague, Kevin; Harrison, Sarah
Type: Journal Article
Year: 2019