Evaluations & Reviews

Cost Analysis of Reproductive Health Services in PCEA Chogoria Hospital, Kenya

Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Chogoria Hospital is a faith based non-governmental organization providing a wide range of healthcare services. The organization faces a number of challenges related to sustainability: declining donor support (especially for reproductive health services), low cost recovery levels, and increasing poverty levels among its clientele. In response to these concerns, a team from Chogoria Hospital attended a one-week workshop held in Ghana on financial sustainability and developed a small scale operations research project to determine the cost of providing a selected number of reproductive health (RH) services and to evaluate their cost recovery levels.

Intersection of Gender, Access and Quality of Care in Reproductive Services: Examples from Kenya, India and Guatemala

This paper describes the experiences of three types of programs (government, reproductive health NGO, and women’s health NGO) in Kenya, India, and Guatemala that integrate gender in their work and examines how they integrate gender into programs that improve quality of care and access to care. It should be emphasized that this report does not document whether gender integration results in higher quality and access, but rather documents how gender integration can take place. [author’s description]

Palliative Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: an Appraisal

Palliative care aims to maximise quality of life and relieve the suffering of patients with life-limiting incurable disease, and to support their families and carers. It is provided through specialist services such as hospices and palliative care teams and in general settings. The HIV/AIDS pandemic and rising cancer rates in Africa have increased the need for well-developed and integrated palliative care services. In sub-Saharan Africa, the concept of palliative care is not well developed and palliative care is largely confined to isolated specialist centres. Services have developed, but in very varied ways. In order to inform future developments, this review aimed to identify and appraise activities, opportunities and evidence of the status of palliative care in Africa.

Nursing Workforce in Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper examines various aspects of the nursing and midwifery workforce in Africa, looking at education and supply systems; recruitment, retention and motivation and career systems. It further investigates attrition from migration and HIV/AIDS, as well as other factors and makes some recommendations on how to move forward using examples of experiences from countries. These experiences, albeit on a small scale, show promise of good results after being scaled up. [author’s description]

What Makes a Good Employer?

This document summarises underlying evidence and issues related to good human resource management (HRM)in the health sector with reference to: (a) indicators of performance and measurement of nursing outcomes; (b) performance issues related to individuals and teams; and (c) employee engagement, commitment and organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB). There are two key themes: What are the interventions and indicators associated with good HRM outcomes, and how can these be measured? [author’s description]

How to Pay: Understanding and Using Incentives

Many countries have experimented with alternative ways of paying providers of health care services. This paper illustrates different methods, suggests some of the theoretic advantages and limitations of each, and provides a general theoretical framework for evaluating alternatives. Over the last two decades, new and more sophisticated payment systems have evolved, with a broadening of units of payment and setting of payments prospectively. The authors discuss the international experience of a number of payment systems, both traditional and more recently developed, including line-item budgeting, salary, fee-for-service, per diem, case-mix adjusted per episode, global budgets and capitation.

Accreditation and Other External Quality Assessment Systems for Healthcare

This review of experience in accreditation and external quality assessment systems was produced at the request of the UK Department for International Development in India. The purpose of this review is to describe where External Quality Assessment fits in the broader set of levers that exist for engaging with health care providers and organisations in developing countries in order to improve quality and affordability of care.

Experiences of Contracting with the Private Sector: a Selective Review

This paper reviews some experiences of social agencies contracting with the private sector to provide health care services. It focuses on the capacity of this mechanism to improve access to services by the poor. The term private sector is used to cover both for-profit and not-for-profit providers of health services. The paper draws on these experiences to suggest some lessons and basic guidelines for contracting. [author’s description]

Private-Public Partnership in Georgia: a Case Study of Contracting an NGO to Provide Specialist Health Services

This case study provides details of a partnership that emerged in Georgia following the initiation of health sector reforms in 1995. It mainly focuses on describing the details of how and why the public purchaser contracted a non-governmental provider to deliver a set of health services in Georgia. The case study is discussed with proper attention to the context within which this arrangement developed. The nature of the services provided was paediatric cardio-surgery, which can hardly be considered a basic essential health service.

Scaling up Health and Education Workers: Systems for Training

This literature review provides a short summary on some specified features of the training systems which are in place in developing countries (mainly low income Africa and Asia) which supply key workers into the health and education sectors. [author’s description]

Scaling up Health and Education Workers: Community Health Workers

The recent UN Millennium Project (UNMP) report recommended as a ‘quick win’ a massive training of community-based workers. This review examines the evidence to support or reject the hypothesis that investment in community workers can only impact on health outcomes with parallel investments in trained health workers and health systems. [author’s description]

Scaling up Health and Education Workers: Increasing the Performance and Productivity of an Existing Stock of Health Workers

This review paper…looks at strategies that have been undertaken to increase the productivity of health workers. It examines the evidence to support or reject the hypothesis that short term training, incentives, better equipment, supplies and conditions and other things can be employed that improve outputs and health outcomes without increasing the numbers of health workers. The review provides an overview of key aspects and options for improving productivity, with country illustrative examples. [author’s description]

Rapid Assessment of Community Health Worker Knowledge Compared with Knowledge of Doctors and Nurses

This study analyzed and compared the knowledge base of trained community health workers with that of doctors and nurses in Afghanistan to determine the differences in their abilities to provide healthcare and health information to patients.

Performance-Based Reimbursement Scheme: a Final Report of a Pilot Study

The NGO Service Delivery Program (NSDP) developed a system ensuring better access of the health services to the poorest segment of the population, along with raising revenue by providing fee-for services to the better off population. The former strategy highlights a safety net policy for the poorest segment, who are identified by participatory rapid appraisal technique and handed out a health benefit card. The latter strategy helps the NGOs to revise their service charges according to local demand and other factors. This report analyzes this pilot effort and its drawbacks and makes recommendations based on lessons learned. [adapted from author]

Nursing Staff Dynamics and Implications for Maternal Health Provision in Public Health Facilities in the Context of HIV/AIDS

This study aimed to document nursing staff dynamics in maternal health services, and to explore the factors associated with these dynamics. We have used the term nursing staffing dynamics to encompass a range of human resource processes including staff turnover, absenteeism, average length of stay in a facility, vacancy rates and workload. The study was carried out in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces in South Africa. [author’s description]

Regulation, Roles and Competency Development

This paper aims to provide an overview of the current evidence and opinion of the workforce implications of regulation, competency development and role definition. These three elements are inextricably linked to each other and are fundamental to the practice of nursing in today’s environment. [from introduction]

International Migration of Nurses: Trends and Policy Implications

This report focuses primarily on the policy implications of the international migration of nurses, and highlights recent trends. International recruitment and migration of nurses has been a growing feature of the global health agenda since the late 1990s. Nurses have always taken the opportunity to move across national borders in pursuit of new opportunities and better career prospects, but in the last few years nurse migration appears to have grown significantly, with the potential to undermine attempts to achieve health system improvement in some developing countries.

Global Shortage of Registered Nurses: An Overview of Issues and Actions

Against the backdrop of growing concern about shortages of health personnel, the report focuses on one of the most critical components of the workforce

Managing Health Professional Migration from Sub-Saharan Africa to Canada: a Stakeholder Inquiry into Policy Options

Canada is a major recipient of foreign-trained health professionals, notably physicians from South Africa and other sub-Saharan African countries. Nurse migration from these countries, while comparatively small, is rising. African countries, meanwhile, have a critical shortage of professionals and a disproportionate burden of disease. What policy options could Canada pursue that balanced the right to health of Africans losing their health workers with the right of these workers to seek migration to countries such as Canada? [author’s description]

Likely Benefit of Using Workload Indicators of Staffing Need (WISN) for Human Resources Management in the Health Sector of Bangladesh

This study demonstrates how Workload Indicators of Staffing Need (WISN) can be used as a human resources planning and management tool for improving decisions at all levels of health services about the provision, allocation and deployment of staff. [from abstract]

Rising to the Challenges of Human Resources for Health in Kenya: Developing Empirical Evidence for Policy Making

This report presents a comprehensive analysis of the human resources for health (HRH) currently available and required to reach the targets set by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in both the public sector and the faith-based organizations (FBOs) in Kenya. A stratified convenience sample of health facilities at all levels of care (primary, secondary, tertiary) in each of the eight provinces was selected for the assessment. Detailed information on human resources and provision of services related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, maternal health, and child health was collected.

Private Provider Networks: The Role of Viability in Expanding the Supply of Reproductive Health and Family Planning Services

As the private sector plays an increasingly critical role in the delivery of reproductive health/family planning (RH/FP) services, donors and public health ministries are turning their attention to business arrangements that offer the potential to increase access to high-quality priority health services. Private provider networks hold the promise of cost effectively expanding the scale of private practice, and are increasingly being considered as a way to achieve national public health objectives.

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Establishing a Distance-Education Programme for Health Personnel in Swaziland

There is a growing conviction among policy-makers that the availability of adequate numbers of well-trained and motivated human resources is a key determinant of health system’s capacity to achieve their health, responsiveness and fairness-improving goals. The objective of this study was to estimate the cost, effectiveness and incremental cost effectiveness ratios of various distance-education strategies for the health sector in Swaziland; and recommend the most cost-effective option. [abstract]

Can Biomedical and Traditional Health Care Providers Work Together? Zambian Practitioners Experiences and Attitudes Towards Collaboration in Relation to STIs and HIV/AIDS Care: a Cross-Sectional Study

The shortage of trained health professionals is among the main obstacles to strengthening low-income countries health systems and to scaling up HIV/AIDS control efforts. Traditional health practitioners are increasingly depicted as key resources to HIV/AIDS prevention and care. An appropriate and effective response to the HIV/AIDS crisis requires reconsideration of the collaboration between traditional and biomedical health providers (THPs and BHPs). The aim of this paper is to explore biomedical and traditional health practitioners experiences of and attitudes towards collaboration and to identify obstacles and potential opportunities for them to collaborate regarding care for patients with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. [author’s description]

Importance of Human Resources Management in Health Care: a Global Context

This paper addresses the health care system from a global perspective and the importance of human resources management (HRM) in improving overall patient health outcomes and delivery of health care services.

Effect of Health Decentralization, Financing and Governance in Mexico

This cross-sectional study was carried out in four states that were selected according to geopolitical and administrative criteria to identify the effects of decentralization on health financing and governance policies in Mexico from the perspective of users and providers. The report discusses the effect of decentralization on health service providers and community involvement. Data collection was performed using in-depth interviews with health system key personnel and community leaders, consensus techniques and document analyses. [adapted from author]

Reaching Out, Scaling Up: Eight Case Studes of Home and Community Care for and by People with HIV/AIDS

This report focuses on HIV/AIDS home and community care projects and programs that have been able to scale up or reach out, and in doing so have brought an improved quality of life to people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. The initiatives are widely spread geographically, with five from Africa, two from Asia, and one from Latin America. The final chapter of this report revisits some of the main lessons learned through the practices, and examines both commonalities and differences. [adapted from author]

DREAM: An Integrated Faith-Based Initiative to Treat HIV/AIDS in Mozambique

[This case study evaluates the] Drug Resources Enhancement against AIDS and Malnutrition (DREAM) program, created by the Community of Sant’Egidio to fight AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. The project takes a holistic approach, combining Highly Active Anti- Retroviral Therapy (HAART) with the treatment of malnutrition, tuberculosis, malaria, and sexually transmitted diseases. It also strongly emphasizes health education at all levels. DREAM aims to achieve its goals in line with the gold standard for HIV treatment and care. [author’s description]

Business and Malaria: A Neglected Threat?

This report discusses the impacts of malaria on business. It reviews the academic literature on the impacts of malaria on economies and businesses, presents data from survey on the business impacts of malaria, discusses the actions the private sector can take to combat malaria, and reviews examples of business malaria programs. The final section makes some recommendations for businesses considering engagement in malaria control. [adapted from author]

Unraveling the Factors Behind the Growth of the Indonesian Family Planning Private Sector

This case study documents Indonesia’s family planning experience with a view to understanding the factors and conditions that led to the remarkable growth in the private sector’s role in delivering family planning services. [from abstract]