Systems Change

Unlocking better health through systems change

Community-led health is uniquely positioned to transform health systems in Kenya and beyond. The status quo of concentrating resources on top-down technical solutions to specific illnesses misses the root cause of poor health. We can create powerful technologies and innovations, but without justice, participation, and accountability, their impact is limited.

Everyday, the communities we support are developing new solutions to improve health outcomes. Lwala uses these lessons, as well as our experience and research, to drive systems change. We envision a health care system built by communities, for communities.

Migori as a model county for community-led health

Across Migori County, Lwala supports government to strengthen the community health workforce, bolster community accountability, and improve quality of care in health facilities. In the context of devolution–a constitutional shift that increases county responsibility for health service delivery–Migori has become a model county for community-led health, paving the way for others. 

In a milestone moment for community-led health, the Migori County government passed a new Community Health Services Act in 2022. The law solidifies the county’s commitment to CHWs, who are the backbone of the health system. It also centers communities in planning, leading, and evaluating health services–and in holding health systems accountable. Lwala was a proud partner to the Migori County government in making this law a reality.

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"At Lwala, we work every day to shift the status quo of development. Rather than having politicians, donors, and technical experts determine what a community needs, we want to see that power transferred to communities—our role is to support them to chart their own path.”

-Hellen Gwaro, Director of Programs

Building a movement for better health

Creating significant, system-wide change requires movement building. Lwala convenes coalitions of government officials, implementing partners, and civil society to make the Kenyan health system work better for the communities it serves. Together, we test new solutions, gather community input, and change health policies, bridging the gap between communities and policymakers.  

Through these partnerships, we can ensure that local solutions are translated into policies and systems that improve community-led accountability, strengthen the community health workforce, prevent maternal deaths, and promote child health and development.

Agency, health, and wholeness of life.

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