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How Can Self-Assessment Improve the Quality of Healthcare

This paper examines the issues relating to self-assessment, such as the different types of self-assessment, its uses, and its validity. It also reviews the literature (largely from developed countries) that informs our knowledge of self-assessment. The paper makes recommendations for future research and concludes that while much remains to be done to assure that self-assessment has the impact it promises, it may also be less costly and easier to implement than alternatives. [from author]

Potential Implications of Hospital Autonomy on Human Resources Management: A Thai Case Study

Using Thailand as a case study, this paper aims to explore the potential implications of integrated health system intervention. Within the Thai context, it is argued in this paper that autonomy of a network of public providers, rather than autonomy of individual hospitals, should be encouraged if management of health manpower is to be optimized. [from abstract]

Public Health Workforce: Challenges and Policy Issues

This paper reviews the challenges facing the public health workforce in developing countries and the main policy issues that must be addressed in order to strengthen the public health workforce.

Tackling Nurse Shortages in OECD Countries

This paper analyzes shortages of nurses in OECD countries. It defines and describes evidence on current nurse shortages, and analyzes international variability in nurse employment.

Developing Evidence-Based Ethical Policies on the Migration of Health Workers: Conceptual and Practical Challenges

The aim of this paper is to examine some key issues related to the international migration of health workers in order to better understand its impact and to find entry points to developing policy options with which migration can be managed. [from abstract]

Health Workforce Planning: Developing Expertise in Eastern Asia and the Pacific Islands

This paper reviews lessons learned regarding getting decision-makers to recognise the nexus between workforce planning, overall health service development and operational policy; data collection and collation; moving beyond a simple personnel to population ratio approach; and adjusting the model to suit local circumstances. The project has identified some emerging and worrying trends in health workforce development. The need for consistent, sustained technical assistance which reflects long and wide experience in health service development and management is underlined. [abstract]

Planning Human Resources in Health Care: Towards an Economic Approach, An International Comparative Review

To inform the design and implementation of improved workforce planning systems, a review of healthcare systems and interaction between systems of service delivery and approaches to planning human resources was done in five countries: Australia, France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom. These represent different welfare state regimes, and a range of health systems dominated by national taxation, local taxation and social insurance. [from executive summary]

Human Resources: Managing and Developing Your Most Important Asset

This issue discusses human resource development, its components, and its critical role in improving organizational performance. The accompanying supplement, the Human Resource Development Assessment Tool, is designed to help a public or private-sector organization identify problem areas in the organization’s HRD system and develop an action plan to address them. [editors’ description]

Planning, Developing and Supporting the Health Workforce: Human Resources for Health Action Workshop, January 17-20, 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa (CD)

As a key contribution toward increasing human capacity in national health systems, the Capacity Project is hosting a series of Human Resources for Health (HRH) Action Workshops. The initial workshop—held in Johannesburg in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme/Southern Africa Capacity Initiative (UNDP/SACI)—facilitated the exchange of knowledge and best practices in planning, developing and supporting the health workforce.

The three and one-half day workshop brought together 38 HRH leaders from 11 countries (Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Sudan, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia).

Functional Job Analysis: Guidelines for Task Analysis and Job Design

This guide is designed for managers, supervisors, educators, planners, and evaluators. Its purpose is to discuss ways to improve decisions that affect how human resources are used to provide health services. Improved decisions require up-to-date and detailed information about three components of human resources for health: (1) the workforce, (2) the work performed and (3) the work settings. This guide discusses how to establish an information system that links these three components to form a unified model of human resources planning, training, and utilization. [from overview]

Is There any Solution to the "Brain Drain" of Health Professionals and Knowledge from Africa?

African public health care systems suffer from significant brain drain of its health care professionals and knowledge as health workers migrate to wealthier countries. In this paper, the brain drain is defined as both a loss of health workers (hard brain drain) and unavailability of research results to users in Africa (soft brain drain).

State of the Health Workforce in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence of Crisis and Analysis of Contributing Factors

This report is an attempt to systematically document and evaluate the state of the health workforce in Africa. It draws on academic published literature (which is limited), the WHO statistical database (which is incomplete and only sporadically updated), studies of bilateral donors, national documents, and newspaper articles. The report shows clearly that for more than a decade HR issues have received very little attention. [from foreword]

Health Sector Policy: Government of Rwanda

The Health Sector Policy is the basis of national health planning and the first point of reference for all actors working in the health sector. It sets the health policy objectives, identifies the priority health interventions for meeting these objectives, outlines the role of each level in the health system, and provides guidelines for improved planning and evaluation of activities in the health sector. One of the priority interventions elaborated is Human Resources. [adapted from introduction]

Introducing Performance Management in National Health Systems: Issues on Policy and Implementation

Using preliminary research results from 15 case studies conducted the world over we examine the prerequisites for successful introduction of performance management systems which are appropriate for developing country situations. The key message and conclusion is that it is important to measure and value staff performance, but that this requires levels of organisational management and an external policy environment that are seldom in place in a developing context.

Antiretroviral Treatment in Developing Countries: The Peril of Neglecting Private Providers

Action is underway to increase access to antiretroviral drugs, especially in countries with high rates of HIV. The role of private providers is largely ignored, although they are an important source of care for stigmatizing diseases in many poor countries. Evidence is emerging that antiretroviral drugs are leaking into formal and informal private markets. Uncontrolled use of drugs in the private sector will lead to rapid development of HIV resistance. Countries require guidance and support from international policy makers and pharmaceutical companies to implement strategies for working with private providers.

Integrated Strategies to Tackle the Inequitable Distribution of Doctors in Thailand: Four Decades of Experience

This paper aims to summarize strategies to solve inequitable distribution of human resources for health (HRH) between urban and rural areas, by using four decades of experience in Thailand as a case study for analysis. [from abstract]

What is Required to Retain Registered Nurses in the Public Health Sector in Malawi?

This study was carried out in order to determine factors that may facilitate the poor retention of registered nurses in the Malawian public health sector.

Retention: Health Workforce Issues and Response Actions in Low-resource Settings

This paper seeks to provide a compelling evidence base to reveal the factors that lead to high turnover and to promote tested responses to retain health workers. The literature researched is presented to support country-level action. [abstract]

Department of Health Annual Report 2003/2004 (South Africa)

An annual review done against the priorities set in the South Africa Health Sector Strategic Framework, 1999 to 2004, and in the Strategic Plan of the National Department for 2003/04 to 2005/06. Section 2 is devoted to Human Resource Management Data.

Analysis of Adequacy Levels for Human Resources Improvement within Primary Health Care Framework in Africa

Human resources in health care system in sub-Saharan Africa are generally picturing a lack of adequacy between expected skills from the professionals and health care needs expressed by the populations. It is, however, possible to analyse these various lacks of adequacy related to human resource management and their determinants to enhance the effectiveness of the health care system. From two projects focused on nurse professionals within the health care system in Central Africa, we present an analytic grid for adequacy levels. [from abstract]

Recent Innovations in Education of Human Resources for Health

This paper reviews recent innovations in education for human resources for health (HRH). The paper outlines the rationale for HRH education, identifies shortcomings in HRH education, and addresses the global contents of educational programs and trends. Recent changes in didactic approaches used in HRH educational programs are analyzed. The paper concludes with an evaluation of innovations and a set of recommendations. [adapted from author]

Human Resources Strategy for the Health Sector in Eritrea: 2006-2010

The purpose of this strategy is to guide the planning, management and development of human resources for health in Eritrea for the period 2006 - 2014. Whilst much progress has been made with the staffing of the health services in the health sector, there is still more work to be done. There is a general shortage of health professionals, particularly amongst more highly skilled groups. Although geographic distribution is relatively good compared to many countries in Africa, there are still health stations and health centres that are under-staffed. There is a major shortage of midwives, exacerbating the high rate of maternal mortality. [from author]

Weakest Link: Competence and Prestige as Constraints to Referral by Isolated Nurses in Rural Niger

For a health district to function, referral from health centres to district hospitals is critical. In many developing countries referral systems perform well below expectations. Niger is not an exception in this matter. Beyond obvious problems of cost and access this study shows to what extent the behaviour of the health worker in its interaction with the patient can be a barrier of its own. [from abstract]

Making Supervision Supportive and Sustainable: New Approaches to Old Problems

This paper distills lessons from recent efforts to improve the supervision of family planning and health programs in developing countries and identifies approaches that may be more effective and sustainable. It describes supportive supervision, an approach to supervision that emphasizes joint problem-solving, mentoring, and two-way communication between supervisors and those being supervised.

Gender and Academic Medicine: Impacts on the Health Workforce

Academic medicine has the opportunity to improve the quantity and quality of the health workforce as a means of strengthening the broader health system. However, it must address the gender dimensions of enrollment, curriculum, and promotion to have a positive impact on human resources for health around the world. [author’s description]

Human Resources for Health: Developing Policy Options for Change

This paper is intended to be the basis for the development of policy options with countries for countries. As such, it has multiple objectives: to provide a guide for the analysis of human resources for health (HRH) as part of health systems performance assessment; to highlight HRH policy questions - derived from analyses and other input from countries — with which policy-makers are often struggling; to integrate HRH policy issues with indicators to assess and monitor HRH performance. [author’s description]

Human Capital and the HIV Epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa

The overall objective of this paper is to provide some insights into the effects of the HIV epidemic on human capital in sub-Saharan Africa through a discussion of some of the factors that are operating. It is not intended as a compendium of data on the problem but aims instead to provide an analytical framework for understanding the policy and programming issues. There is an analysis of the impact on the public services in Malawi, a detailed presentation of the impact on education and health and a discussion of issues relating to the measurement of the impact on different productive sectors and the role of different social partners in adjusting to, and managing, the impact.

Treating 3 Million by 2005: Making it Happen, The WHO Strategy

This WHO strategy aims to set out in clear detail how life-long antiretroviral treatment can be provided to 3 million people living with HIV/AIDS in poor countries by the end of 2005. Core principles include urgency, equity and sustainability. HIV/AIDS has devastated the populations and health services of many developing countries. We must act now. Further, since this magnitude of scaling up HIV/AIDS treatment has never been attempted before, we must learn by doing. [summary from author]

Achieving the Right Balance: The Role of Policy-Making Processes in Managing Human Resources for Health Problems

This document presents a framework for analyzing factors affecting the development and implementation of HRH policies and strategies.

Economic Incentive in Community Nursing: Attraction, Rejection or Indifference?

Using incentives and disincentives to direct individuals’ energies and behaviour is common practice in all work settings, of which the health care system is no exception. The range and influence of economic incentives/disincentives affecting community nurses are the subject of this discussion paper. The tendency by nurses to disregard, and in many cases, deny a direct impact of economic incentives/disincentives on their motivation and professional conduct is of particular interest. The goal of recent research was to determine if economic incentives/disincentives in community nursing exist, whether they have a perceivable impact and in what areas.