Does supportive supervision enhance community health worker motivation? A mixed-methods study in four African countries
Supportive supervision is an important element of community health worker (CHW) programmes and is believed to improve CHW motivation and performance. A group supervision intervention, which included training and mentorship of supervisors, was implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique. In three of the countries, this was combined with individual and/or peer supervision. A mixed-methods implementation study was conducted to assess the effect of the supervision intervention on CHWs’ perceptions of supervision and CHW motivation-related outcomes. The study suggests that there is potential for integrating supportive group supervision models in CHW programmes. A combination of group with individual or peer supervision, preferably accompanied with methods that assess CHW performance and corresponding feedback systems, could yield improved motivation and performance.