A multilevel approach to knowledge sharing: Improving health services for families and children

Naheed Ahmed, Rupali J. Limaye, Sarah V. Harlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Improving health services for families and children requires a multilevel approach, involving engagement with government agencies, implementing partners, and service providers to ensure the success of health interventions. The Knowledge for Health (K4Health) project uses a knowledge sharing and capacity building approach to improving health services, including family planning and sexual and reproductive health (FP/SRH). In order for current technical information on FP/SRH to reach policy makers, program managers, and service providers-from doctors and nurses working in health facilities to community health workers making home visits-K4Health first uses participatory methods to assess the health information needs of these key stakeholders, to ensure that interventions meet their specific needs. Using the needs assessment results, FP/SRH information is then tailored and packaged for each audience to influence decision making at the policy level, or improve counseling at the point of care, so that community members are able to make informed health decisions for their families. K4Health collaborates with local government agencies, engaging them in designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions, in order to facilitate ownership and sustained interest in the program. Through an illustrative example from a field project in Malawi, this article examines how knowledge management projects can and should engage with all stakeholders involved in FP/SRH, as by doing so, the impact of these programs can enhance health services and health for families and children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-204
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Anthropological Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Community health workers
  • Digital health
  • Malawi
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Social knowledge management
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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