Cost Comparison Model: Blended eLearning versus traditional training of community health workers

Mysha Sissine, Robert Segan, Mathew Taylor, Bobby Jefferson, Alice Borrelli, Mohandas Koehler, Meena Chelvayohan


Objectives: Another one million community healthcare workers are needed to address the growing global population and increasing demand of health care services. This paper describes a cost comparison between two training approaches to better understand costs implications of training community health workers (CHWs) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: Our team created a prospective model to forecast and compare the costs of two training methods as described in the Dalburge Report - (1) a traditional didactic training approach (“baseline”) and (2) a blended eLearning training approach (“blended”). After running the model for training 100,000 CHWs, we compared the results and scaled up those results to one million CHWs.

Results: A substantial difference exists in total costs between the baseline and blended training programs. Results indicate that using a blended eLearning approach for training community health care workers will provide a total cost savings of 42%. Scaling the model to one million CHWs, the blended eLearning training approach reduces total costs by 25%.

Discussion: The blended eLearning savings are a result of decreased classroom time, thereby reducing the costs associated with travel, trainers and classroom costs.  Additional savings can be achieved if the blended eLearning program elects to use a tablet or feature phone with Wi-Fi rather than a smartphone with data plan.

Conclusion: The results of this cost analysis indicate significant savings through using a blended eLearning approach in comparison to a traditional didactic method for CHW training by as much as 67%. These results correspond to the Dalberg publication which indicates that using a blended eLearning approach is an opportunity for closing the gap in training community health care workers. 

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *