Latest Resources

Monitoring and Evaluation of Human Resources for Health: An International Perspective

Despite the undoubted importance of human resources to the functions of health systems, there is little consistency between countries in how human resource strategies are monitored and evaluated. This paper presents an integrated approach for developing an evidence base on human resources for health (HRH) to support decision making, drawing on a framework for health systems performance assessment. [from abstract]

HIV/AIDS and the Workforce Crisis in Health in Africa: Issues for Discussion

This paper summarizes the key issues confronting human resources (HR) in the health sector in sub-Saharan Africa and the role that HIV/AIDS has played in exacerbating this crisis. Section I reviews the causes and consequences of this crisis. Section II focuses on the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the crisis. Section III analyzes the constraints faced by recent health initiatives in addressing HR issues. Finally, Section IV provides recommendations on how donors and other partners can address HR issues in a more intensive, sustained, and concerted manner. [summary]

Impact of HIV/AIDS on Health Systems and the Health Workforce in Sub-Saharan Africa

The purpose of this paper is to advocate for and guide planners in the collection and use of appropriate information to develop and manage the health workforce in a manner that enables health systems to respond to the service demands created or worsened by HIV/AIDS. The paper also intends to guide the development of tools for assessing impacts of HIV/AIDS on the health sector. Such tools can assist policymakers, planners, and advocacy groups to shape and accelerate the implementation of national HIV/AIDS policies and programs throughout the continent. [Description from author]

Metrics of the Physician Brain Drain

There has been substantial immigration of physicians to developed countries, much of it coming from lower-income countries. Although the recipient nations and the immigrating physicians benefit from this migration, less developed countries lose important health capabilities as a result of the loss of physicians. With the use of World Health Organization data, this article presents an emigration factor for the countries of origin of the immigrant physicians to provide a relative measure of the number of physicians lost by emigration. [from abstract]

Migration of Nurses: Trends and Policies

This paper examines the policy context of the rise in the international mobility and migration of nurses. It describes the profile of the migration of nurses and the policy context governing the international recruitment of nurses to five countries: Australia, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

South African Health Review 2005

The 10th edition of the South African Health Review has the major theme of Human Resources for Health (HRH). South Africa has made significant progress in producing policies supportive of a good quality of health for all residents. However, there are challenges and gaps in translating these policies into action. Probably the most important of these challenges is the lack of adequate human resources. [Publisher’s description]

Efforts Underway to Stem Brain Drain of Doctors and Nurses

International recognition that the growing shortage of health workers poses a major threat to fighting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis has prompted a flurry of measures to stem the exodus of health professionals from developing countries. The initiatives — such as ethical recruitment codes to try to limit damage inflicted by the brain drain, and exchange and training programmes and projects to tap the resources of what has become known as the diaspora of migrant health workers — remain fragmented but at least mark a start in the search for solutions to the crisis. [autho

Migration of Health-Care Workers from Developing Countries: Strategic Approaches to its Management

Medical practitioners and nurses represent a small proportion of the highly skilled workers who migrate, but the loss for developing countries of human resources in the health sector may mean that the capacity of the health system to deliver health care equitably is significantly compromised. The aim of this paper is to examine some key issues related to the international migration of health workers and to discuss strategic approaches to managing migration. [from abstract]

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]

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]