PhD scholarship in human resource impacts of lay health worker

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The effects, sustainability and human resource impacts of lay health worker interventions in primary and community health care

Growing concern regarding the human resource crisis in health care in many low and middle income countries has renewed interest in the roles that lay health workers (lay people with no formal health professional qualifications) may play in extending services to 'hard to reach' groups and areas, and in substituting for health professionals for a range of tasks.

It has been suggested that this cadre of health workers could play an important role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals for health.

However, the growth of interest in lay health worker programmes has generally occurred in the absence of robust evidence of their effects or of a clear understanding of how such programmes can be supported and sustained in resource-poor settings.

Given that these interventions have considerable direct and indirect costs, such evidence is needed to ensure they do more good than harm.

Questions that could be addressed in this PhD include:

  • Factors affecting the sustainability of lay health worker interventions when scaled up
  • The effectiveness of different approaches to ensuring the sustainability of lay health worker programmes
  • Mechanisms for integrating lay health worker programmes into the formal health system
  • Factors that determine the effectiveness of lay health worker interventions in different settings
  • The acceptability of lay health worker programmes to consumers and health professionals
  • The effects of consumer involvement in these programmes.

    A suitable project in this area might involve a randomised controlled trial of a specific lay health worker intervention;

  • case studies of ongoing programmes to explore sustainability or mechanisms for integration;
  • or in-depth qualitative research to examine consumer participation.

    This project will be based in the Public & Environmental Health Research Unit, in the Department of Public Health & Policy.

    The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, an internationally renowned postgraduate institution for public health and tropical medicine, invites applications for Graduate Teaching Assistantships.

    These represent a unique and exciting opportunity to undertake original research at doctoral level and to start an academic career through teaching.

    Each Assistantship will provide funds for PhD tuition fees together with £14,000 per annum maintenance support for up to four years.

    Students will be full-time, ready to start in September and are expected to complete PhD training within the period of the studentship whilst providing teaching assistance at Master’s level for 10 hours per week.

    We are looking for outstanding candidates.

    Teaching experience would be an advantage but is not essential as training will be provided to support the teaching requirements of the Assistantship.

    Follow the links below for more details and application contacts.

    Further details, including a list of the research and teaching areas covered by the Assistantships, eligibility and how to apply are available at: PhD scholarship in human resource impacts of lay health worker

    or telephone +44 (0)20 7299 4646 for a copy of the application pack.

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