Capacity Building as Instrument and Empowerment

Training Health Workers for Community-Based Roles in Ghana

in The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology
Restricted access

Abstract

This article examines the concept of health worker capacity building as it is used to facilitate the integration of social and clinical community health services. Focusing on the Community-based Health Planning and Services initiative in Ghana, this article calls into question the efficacy of approaches to capacity building which emphasize technical requirements over empowering health workers to actively engage with their communities on matters of health and wellbeing. Instrumental conceptualizations of health worker capacity building generate blueprints for social mobilization that only partially address community health needs, and produce new relationships of brokerage between health workers. These phenomena facilitate a discussion as to how transformative versions of health worker capacity building might be integrated into health sector bureaucracies.

Contributor Notes

Harriet Boulding is Research Associate at the Policy Institute at King’s College London, specializing in health systems and policy. Before joining King’s, Harriet completed a Ph.D. in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her research interests include national and international health policy, health systems management, maternal and reproductive health, and the design and delivery of women’s health services.

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