About the C3 Project
The Community Health Worker Core Consensus Project’s primary aims are to expand cohesion in the field and to contribute to the visibility and greater understanding of the full potential of Community Health Workers (CHWs) to improve health, community development, and access to systems of care.
Importantly, the C3 Project offers a single set of CHW roles and competencies for reference by those both inside and outside the field as they work to build greater support for and sustainability among CHWs in all settings. Central to the C3 Project’s work was the analysis of previously accepted CHW roles and competencies from the National Community Health Advisor Study compared to current benchmark documents. This crosswalk led to the development of a contemporary list of recommended roles and competencies. (The term “competencies” is used here to include skills and qualities.) Notably,
the C3 Project team decided not to propose new qualities, instead choosing to endorse existing research on qualities. From that research, clearly the “connection to the community served” emerged as the most critical quality. Given well established qualities, the C3 Project’s work focused on identification of contemporary roles and skills.
Following the development of the lists of recommended roles and skills, the C3 Project team actively solicited feedback from CHW associations and networks across the country. After incorporating input from a majority of existing CHW networks, the C3 Project team disseminated a recommended list of 10 roles and 11 skills and as noted above, endorsed existing knowledge about qualities.
After releasing the roles and competency recommendations in 2016, the C3 Project team proceeded to explore best practices related to the assessment of CHW skills and to examine the potential impact of CHWs’ service setting on CHW roles and skills. The team also conducted stakeholder outreach to expand understanding and adoption of C3 Project
recommended CHW roles and competencies. This led to the development of an assessment toolkit designed to share field-driven, evidence-based recommendations, tools, and resources for supporting a comprehensive assessment of CHWs’ work.
Additionally, findings on the impact of setting on CHW work revealed a preferred reliance on the same core roles and
competencies, regardless of work setting, suggesting the importance of endorsing common core roles and competencies for CHW in all settings. Findings also indicated the need for CHWs to identify areas of additional training needed for specific settings. Frameworks developed by CHWs and stakeholders depicted these findings and help communicate the common core roles and competencies of CHWs in all settings.
During this later work on assessment and settings, the C3 Project team succeeded in expanding the endorsement, support, and utilization of the C3 Project recommendations with affirmations from more than 15 national public health organizations and professional associations and acknowledgment and use by at least 20 state policy initiatives. Throughout, the C3 Project has sought to build consensus to better support the full scope of CHW practice and CHW capacity to serve individuals and communities.