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What is the CLEAR collaboration?

Based in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University, the CLEAR Collaboration was founded in 2010 by Dr. Anne Andermann (Canada) and Dr. Muazzam Nasrullah (Pakistan) to empower health workers to improve health and social outcomes for disadvantaged children and families, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. 

The CLEAR Collaboration during their first international meeting at McGill Unive
The CLEAR Collaboration during their first international meeting at McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Back row (left to right): Dr Guillherme Franco Netto (Brazil), Dr Tatiana Lotfi de Sampaio (Brazil), Dr Anne Andermann (Canada), Dr. Lisa Andermann (Canada), Mr Ibrahim Balla Souley (Niger), Dr Djibo Douma Maiga (Niger), Dr Vilma Santana (Brazil), Prof Farooq Naseer (Pakistan). Middle row: Prof Jahangir Khan (Bangladesh), Dr Kumanan Rasanathan (WHO observer), Dr Susan Gunn (ILO observer), Mr Saeed Awan (Pakistan), Prof Jorge Iriart (Brazil). Front row (research assistants): Martijn Hofman (Netherlands), Max Deschner (Canada), Jehan Ahmed (Canada), Clarice Reis (Brazil).

Phase One

The Collaboration began as a partnership between McGill University and academic institutions in four low and middle income countries:

Partner InstitutionCityCountry
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Dhaka Bangladesh
Institute for Collective Health, Federal University of Bahia Salvador Brazil
Faculty of Health Sciences, Abdou Moumouni University Niamey Niger
Lahore University of Management Sciences Lahore Pakistan

With the generous support of our funding partners, we conducted research in Brazil, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Niger with a focus on child labour as an entry point to better understand how health workers can address the social causes of poor health.

The CLEAR Toolkit

The result of this work is the CLEAR toolkit, the first training tool developed to provide community health workers in low and middle income countries with practical skills on how to take a broader view when treating patients. The toolkit guides health workers in: a) Treating the immediate health problem, b) Asking about underlying social problems, c) Referring to local social support services, and d) Advocating for more supportive environments.

Phase Two

The next phase of the CLEAR Collaboration project has 3 main objectives:

  1. Rolling out and piloting the  CLEAR toolkit with 1 million community health workers in low- resource settings.
  2. Conducting a multi-country impact study to measure the improvement in health and social outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged groups.
  3. Ensuring the sustainability and continued growth of the collaboration through capacity building, maintaining partnerships, and ongoing monitoring of the impact on health and well-being.