Community Health Toolkit

Remote onboarding and training on the CHT for COVID-19

As health workers are involved in Covid-response they may be onboarded to new digital tools to help them with symptom assessment, contact tracing, testing, and triage. Given that in-person trainings are not advised for the foreseeable future, health workers will need to learn to use these new tools and workflows on their own – but this doesn’t mean independently without guidance and support.

The challenge is to remotely onboard and support health workers using CHT workflows.

The specific areas of work we are aiming to tackle are:

  1. Onboarding CHW to using CHT App (first time login, onboard and assess)

  2. Onboarding CHW to using new workflow (general structure, content from other squad, assessing their completion)

  3. Onboarding CHW to SMS workflows (EBS as an example; the goals are guidelines for implementing partners, general template, determining active CHWs)

We are currently looking into creating SMS/IVR onboarding templates and configurable tutorials and quizzes as flexible and scalable solutions within the CHT.

If anyone has experience or thoughts on this I would be very happy to discuss!


During the past few weeks the remote onboarding and training squad at Medic has made progress on the following workflows:

Remote Login
When creating users, the admin has the option to send a user their credentials via SMS using a magic link. This generates a new, random and complex password with a 24-hour expiry. By clicking the magic link to log in, the user is able to enter their project’s instance directly, bypassing the need to enter their username and password. If the app is not installed on their phone, the default SMS encourages users to download it.

SMS Training
SMS training uses a RapidPro integration that sends users information via a decision tree with the capability to include assessments with correct/incorrect feedback. Please watch the demo for more details.

App Training
App training uses XForms, starting with a task to begin the course, an overview of information and the ability to conduct a quiz in context to the questions or at the end of the workflow. Please watch the demo for more details.

With these remote approaches, our team is prioritizing:

Safety: Best possible option when in-person trainings are not feasible at scale
Speed: Time is a critical factor for COVID-19
Scalability: Enables a large number of users to be onboarded quickly
Measurability: Track completion rates and provide support where needed
Adaptability: Functions based on the technology, infrastructure and ecosystem already at hand, and in support of MoH protocols and approved content and messaging

These examples are meant to be used as a guide to be adapted across partner projects to ensure a unified approach.

The workflows are broken out into more detail with relevant examples in our CHT Remote Onboarding and Training documentation resource which we are constantly updating with our latest work. Please take a look, we are happy to receive feedback!


Hi there - this is Bart Sullivan, Director of Design from Viamo.

It would be really helpful to know how you currently do your onboarding to using the CHT App? How long does it last? How many modules are involved?

Do all users have CHT apps or are some using USSD/SMS?

In terms of your current training - what ways do you have to monitor the progress of a learner? Do you have some sort of console that you can see if a CHW is moving successfully through the modules/steps?

Finally - do the CHWs have access to a “second device” which could enable them to listen to a call on one device, while they interact and learn using the device they are learning to use?

I know I heaven’t addressed all your questions - just putting a few pieces out there.


Hi @bart.sullivan! I love that you are asking about monitoring progress as we onboard CHWs to new use cases and workflows. We are actively thinking about what the best subset of metrics could be to monitor the progress of remote onboarding activities, as well as CHW engagement.

@Nicole_Orlowski can speak to some of the longer term ideas we have around user engagement assessments via telemetry data. In the immediate term, we are thinking about measuring some of the following impact metrics:

  • Number of CHWs completed all training assigned to them (fully trained)
  • Number of CHWs completed training (by workflow)
  • Number of CHWs started training but not completed (by workflow)
  • Percentage of CHWs who needed to contact their supervisor for additional support
  • Time to complete training (by workflow, fully trained)

Thanks so much!

Hi @bart.sullivan, and thanks @helenelizabeth for jumping in!

We are currently working on onboarding via training modules in the CHT app (initially this was an in-app tour but we are looking at having these modules be tasks that CHWs complete).

Not all users have the web app, most in fact are using SMS so we are also looking into SMS-based onboarding flows (but learning that many CHWs cannot read and are currently learning through voice/video modules - the requirements for training differ per partner so we are looking at this contextually).

We are able to track progress on training as Helen has mentioned which can be displayed in a dashboard and in the CHT itself.

No access to a second device so another issue is how they are learning and interacting at the same time.

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