Latest Resources

How Can We Achieve and Maintain High-Quality Performance of Health Workers in Low-Resource Settings?

In low and middle income countries, health workers are essential for the delivery of health interventions. However, inadequate health-worker performance is a very widespread problem. We present an overview of issues and evidence about the determinants of performance and strategies for improving it. [authors’ description]

Stopping the Migration of Ghana's Health Workers

Ghana’s health sector has lost many health care workers, including those migrating to other countries. Strategies aimed at keeping personnel have had varied results. This article briefly reviews these strategies. [adapted from author]

Data on the Migration of Health-Care Workers: Sources, Uses and Challenges

Most statistics on the migration of health-care workers are neither complete nor fully comparable, and they are often underused, limited, because they often give only a broad description of the phenomena, and are not as timely as required. This paper presents information on the uses of statistics and those who use them, the strengths and limitations of the main data sources, and other challenges that need to be met to obtain good evidence on the migration of health workers. This paper also proposes methods to improve the collection, analysis, sharing, and use of statistics on the migration of health workers.

Migration of Health Professionals in Six Countries: A Synthesis Report

This report presents findings of a study on the migration of health professionals in Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The report provides detailed information about migration patterns and numbers, reasons for migration, effects on the quality of health care and the policies being undertaken in the respective countries to reduce outward migration. [from executive summary]

Tackling International Health Worker Recruitment

Billions of dollars have been invested in efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and other diseases in the world’s poorest countries. Yet at the same time, qualified health workers are leaving the same areas to work in the world’s richest countries. This article provides a brief overview of this issue. [author’s description]

Plumbing the Brain Drain

The departure of a large proportion of the most competent and innovative individuals from developing nations slows the achievement of the critical mass needed to generate the enabling context in which knowledge creation occurs. To favourably modify the movement and distribution of global talent, developing countries must implement bold and creative strategies that are backed by national policies.

Selecting Partners: Practical Considerations for Forming Partnerships

This handbook, developed for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, describes the nature of successful partnerships: their characteristics, their benefits, their challenges, and provides practical guidance to leaders, managers, and professionals in agricultural research who are using or considering partnerships as a way to achieve greater results. While geared toward the agricultural sector, the material has wide applicability to other sectors.

Strategies to Discourage Brain Drain

Building health research expertise in developing countries often requires personnel to receive training beyond national borders. For research funding agencies that sponsor this type of training, a major goal is to ensure that trainees return to their country of origin: attaining this objective requires the use of proactive strategies. This paper describes the strategies employed to discourage brain drain by the principle investigators of five of the longest-funded AIDS International Training and Research Program. [from abstract]

Development and Strengthening of Human Resources Management in the Health Services

This document summarizes the human resources management situation in the region, its determinants, and the projects for its development. To promote improvements in the human resources management function as part of the sectoral changes under way at the national and regional level, the Pan American Health Organization is proposing a series of strategies, actions, and operational tools through the Observatory of Human Resources in Health Sector Reform initiative. [adapted from author]

Measuring Capacities: An Illustrative Catalogue to Benchmarks and Indicators

This resource catalogue is a compilation of indicators for assessing capability and effectiveness of organizations and the standards of the environment in which they must operate. Examples of thematic indicators (environment and HIV/AIDS) are also included. This list is not exhaustive. [publisher’s description]

Finding the Answers to Chad's Health Workforce Crisis

With a population of more than 8 million, Chad has around 3,600 health workers: 50 percent of these are unskilled, and 35 percent are nurses and midwives. Chad also faces geographical imbalances in the distribution of health professionals, with approximately half working in the capital N’Djamena. This article provides an overview of the issues related to the health workforce in Chad. [adapted from author]

For Public Service or Money: Understanding Geographical Imbalances in the Health Workforce

Geographical imbalances in the health workforce have been a consistent feature of nearly all health systems, especially in developing countries. The authors investigate the willingness to work in a rural area among final year nursing and medical students in Ethiopia. Analyzing data obtained from contingent valuation questions, they find that household consumption and the student’s motivation to help the poor, which is their proxy for intrinsic motivation, are the main determinants of willingness to work in a rural area.

Human Resources and the Success of Health Sector Reform

Though reforms in the health sector have recently been common around the world, their success has, for a variety of reasons, been mixed. The paper aims to examine and explain the importance of human resources (HR) to the success or failure of health reforms using case studies from Russia, Zambia and the United Kingdom. [from abstract]

Guide to Health Workforce Development in Post-Conflict Environments

Designed to assist in re-establishing health services in a context of political and economical instability, this guide provides practical information and tools for rebuilding a health workforce, as well as examples from post-conflict countries. [publisher’s description]

Towards A Global Health Workforce Strategy

The papers presented here cover the main dimensions of HRD (Human Resource Development) in health: planning and managing the workforce, education and training, incentives and working conditions, managing the performance of personnel and policies needed to ensure that investments in human resources produce the benefits to which the investing populations are entitled.

Human Resources for Health and the Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic: Testimony of Holly J. Burkhalter, Physicians for Human Rights, House International Relations Committee, Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Physicians for Human Rights testimony before the U.S. House International Relations Committee, April 13, 2005 calling for a second Presidential initiative for health in Africa to accelerate the recruitment, retention, training, and rational deployment of skilled health workers while simultaneously continuing to scale up prevention, care, and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Approach to Classifying Human Resources Constraints to Attaining Health-related Millennium Development Goals

For any wide-ranging effort to scale up health-related priority interventions, human resources for health (HRH) are likely to be a key to success. This study explores constraints related to human resources in the health sector for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in low-income countries. [adapted from author]

Challenges Facing the Malawian Health Workforce in the Era of HIV/AIDS

What effect does the increased number of Malawians living with HIV/AIDS have on the public health sector? To address this question, the Commonwealth Regional Health Community Secretariat (CRHCS) and Malawian researchers from the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, Bureau for Africa, undertook an assessment to explore the effects of HIV/AIDS on the health workforce. [author’s description]

Health Workforce Challenges: Lessons from Country Experiences

This report is aimed at policy makers both in developing country governments and in international agencies. It was a key input to the second meeting of the High Level Forum on the Health Millennium Development Goals held in Abuja in December 2004. It was written to raise awareness of a looming crisis in human resources for health confronting most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and to help serve as a catalyst for action to avert this crisis.

Action Plan to Prevent Brain Drain: Building Equitable Health Systems in Africa

The causes of brain drain are complex and interrelated, involving social, political, and economic factors. The necessary responses will therefore be varied and cover an array of areas. Drawing on growing interest and scholarship, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) proposes this plan of action for addressing brain drain and the unequal distribution of health personnel within countries, recommending actions by high-income countries, African governments, WHO, international financial institutions, private businesses, and others. [author’s description]

HIV/AIDS, Equity and Health Sector Personnel in Southern Africa

This paper discusses the implications for health personnel of the HIV epidemic, and health sector responses to it, in southern Africa, using Malawi as a case study. Published and grey literature has been consulted to assess the situation and its implications for equity. [author’s description]

Skill-Mix and Policy Change in the Health Workforce: Nurses in Advanced Roles.

This report was commissioned by OECD to examine the evidence on role change and delegation from physicians to advanced practice nurses (APN), nurse practitioners and nurses in other advanced roles in the hospital setting and primary care. The report has three components: a literature review, an assessment of country responses to an OECD questionnaire, and two more detailed country case studies, on England and the US. [author’s description]