Request for consultancy services: Comparative analysis of PSI’s Workforce App (WFA) and Community Health Toolkit (CHT)

Background Context

PSI’s strategy is to improve consumer health and wellbeing by using digital technologies to increase access and personalize delivery of quality information, products and services. PSI’s Workforce App (WFA) is a progressive web app-based application that can fully operate offline on a mobile device or standard desktop browser. It is targeted to health workers and providers and supports the following key functionalities:

  1. Electronic registration of clients to track reach and onward engagements
  2. Capture of any kind of health or educational intervention details
  3. Linkage to care through issuing of e-referrals via SMS, social media chats.
  4. Redemption of referrals to ‘close the loop’
  5. Management of client relations
  6. Performance & incentives monitoring
  7. Digitization of workers’ job aids
  8. Automated message & notifications scheduling
  9. Two-way communications with clients via WA or other social media

The platform is currently implemented in 12 countries across 3 health areas and 3 continents.

PSI has committed to continually evolve and improve on the technical capabilities of its health workforce applications, which includes benchmarking with other comparable tools. PSI recently undertook a rapid product landscaping to determine the current positioning and possible future of the Workforce App. This included a comparison of the WFA with other similar tools listed in WHO Digital Health Atlas. There were three recommendations from the just concluded analysis:

  1. Position WFA as a new global good
  2. Transition WFA capabilities and contribute to an existing global good
  3. Pursue a hybrid approach

The product landscaping exercise identified the Community Health Toolkit (CHT) as a established similar global good with a high value community for engagement that PSI should evaluate, and if appropriate, think about how to transition and contribute to.

Proposed Scope of Work
PSI is seeking consultancy services to conduct a comparative analysis of PSI’s WFA tool and CHT, to make informed decisions on the future of the WFA. This is with a view to identify opportunities to optimize the existing WFA capabilities for externalization via an open-source approach, fully transition from WFA to CHT, or adopting a hybrid approach where CHT is adopted in some PSI use cases and others continue in WFA.

Core Activities
• Undertake a comparative analysis of the WFA versus CHT with consideration to the following factors: core technical capabilities/features, cost of investment to set up and maintain, technical skills requirements and community engagements
• Using CHT, replicate and implement three existing WFA workflows to determine adaptability of CHT to PSI’s specific needs. These workflows include client and e-referral management based on program business logic, highly interactive job aids embedded within data collection forms, and scheduling of automated messaging services during data collection to be delivered through various communication channels such as SMS, WhatsApp and other social media
• Run a demo of the implemented workflows listed above
• Advise on the technical overview/technology components required to setup a CHT platform (design, development, deployment and maintenance)
• Share any public resources and documentation for CHT that PSI can use for reference.
• Compile and present a report by October 31, 2022 outlining findings and recommendations from the comparative analysis above.


Dear Susan and PSI,

I am thrilled to see this request for consultancy services. I share your interest in the results of your proposed core activities to understand how your workforce app and CHT-based apps may best leverage their strengths towards an improved Global Good. I would welcome an opportunity to contribute to this work.

A little about me: I am an Associate Professor at the University of Washington at I-TECH in the Department of Global Health and the Principle Investigator on 4 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants in collaboration with Medic. The CHT-based apps that stem from our collaborations are aimed at improving patient care while reducing healthcare worker workload at lower cost. Much of our work focuses on two-way texting (2wT) as direct provider-to-patient telehealth. We have rigorous evidence from a randomized control trial (RCT) of 2wT in Zimbabwe, showing the high usability of our 2wT App for male circumcision (MC) follow-up in Zimbabwe to reduce healthcare worker burden while improving the quality of care at lower cost. This work has moved from research to routine 2wT practice and is led by local Zimbabwean partner, Zim-TTECH. With NIH support, we also led a follow-up RCT in South Africa in partnership with Aurum Institute and Medic. Initial results, in publication preparation, again show improved quality of care with reduced workload and costs in both rural and urban settings. Previously, in 2019, I worked with SFH, a PSI local partner in South Africa, to bring 2wT to routine practice, but, sadly, that project was disrupted by COVID-19 soon after launch.

We also have evidence suggesting the robustness of the 2wT app in other use cases. Recently, we adapted 2wT for improved retention in antiretroviral therapy (ART) care. In Malawi, we are testing 2wT for new ART initiates with local partner, Lighthouse Trust, the largest public provider of HIV-related care in Malawi. Simultaneously, in Zimbabwe, Zim-TTECH is partnering with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to test a similar 2wT for ART retention in local clinics.

I am happy to help this collaboration and comparative analysis move forward in any way that I can, from making available the features from comparable 2wT CHT apps that were designed and co-created for my research to providing feedback from demos that stem from this work. We are also open to learning and contributing to an improved set of Global Goods that bring these features and Apps to the settings and systems that need them. Please let me know how I can contribute to the success of this scope of work. All our Apps and interventions are stronger when we work together.