Tools & Guides

Global Atlas of the Health Workforce

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been collecting and compiling cross-nationally comparable data on health workers in all WHO Member States. The data available in the Global Atlas of the Health Workforce is the main outcome of this effort. Estimates of the stock (absolute numbers) and density (per 1000 population) of the health workforce are available here for 193 Member States. National-level data refer to the active health workforce, that is, all persons currently participating in the health labour market. [adapted from publisher]

12 Steps for Creating a Culture of Retention: a Workbook for Home and Community-Based Long-Term Care Providers

All long-term care agencies struggle to find and keep sufficient, reliable, and skilled staff capable of meeting client needs and providing great quality care. This workbook offers 12 concrete steps to guide agencies in developing excellent recruitment, selection and retention practices

Right to Health and Health Workforce Planning: a Guide for Government Officials, NGOs, Health Workers and Development Partners

The purpose of this guide is to explain why it is necessary to ground health workforce planning in human rights, and how to develop a plan that does just that. [from summary]

Guidelines for Practitioners of Community-Based Worker Systems

The purpose of these guidelines is to assist practitioners and implementing partners to run Community-Based Worker (CBW) systems more effectively, maximising impacts for clients of the service, empowering communities, empowering the CBWs themselves, and assisting governments to ensure that services are provided at scale to enhance livelihoods. The guidelines focus on how to run the CBW system rather than technicalities around HIV/AIDS or natural resources issues. [from introduction]

Strengthening Management Capacity

Managers are an essential component of the health workforce. Good management is essential for quality service delivery and achieving desired health outcomes. This resource details a balanced, strategic approach to strengthening management capacity. [from introduction]

NGO Code of Conduct for Health Systems

The NGO Code of Conduct for Health Systems Strengthening is a response to the recent growth in the number of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) associated with the increase in aid flows to the health sector. It is intended to be used as a tool for service organizations and eventually for funders and host governments. The code serves as a guide to encourage NGO practices that contribute to building public health systems and discourage those that are harmful. [from introduction]

Voluntary Code of Ethical Conduct for the Recruitment of Foreign-Educated Nurses to the United States

The Voluntary Code of Ethical Conduct for the Recruitment of Foreign-Educated Nurses to the United States reflects the mutual recognition of stakeholder interests relevant to the recruitment of foreign educated nurses. It is based on an acknowledgement of the rights of individuals to migrate, as well as an understanding that the legitimate interests and responsibilities of nurses, source countries, and employers in the destination country may conflict.

AVICENNA Directories: Global Directories of Education Institutions for Health Professions

The AVICENNA Directories is a publicly accessible database of schools, colleges, and universities for education of academic professions in health. The database includes medical schools, schools of pharmacy, schools of public health and educational institutions of other academic health professions. For medical educational institutions, this database replaces the World Directory of Medical Schools published by WHO since 1953. [adapted from publisher]

Database of Medical Schools 2005

This database contains listings for medical schools all over the world. Users can search by region or by country to access details about the schools available.

Integrating HIV Prevention in the Care Setting: Health Manager's Guide

This guide outlines a step-by-step method for healthcare supervisors and managers who would like to put together a prevention team and program; gives healthcare workers the tools and knowledge to take advantage of HIV prevention oppotunities in healthcare settings; and provices sample training, communication materials, and strategies to support prevention plans. [from author]

Guidelines: Incentives for Health Professionals

This paper was commissioned by the health professions with the support of the Global Health Workforce Alliance to provide an overview of the use of incentives for health care professionals. It describes some of the different approaches taken and presents characteristics shared by effective incentive schemes. The paper also suggests some approaches to their development and implementation. [from introduction]

Provision of Injectable Contraception Services through Community-Based Distribution: Implementation Handbook

Produced in collaboration with Save the Children USA, this step-by-step guide explains how to introduce injectable contraceptives

Health Systems Database

This easy-to-use web-based tool compiles and analyzes country data from multiple sources, provides charting options, and generates automated country fact sheets, helping users to assess the performance of the country’s health systems.

Guiding Principles for National Health Workforce Strategies

These guidelines help answer what national health workforce plans should contain and how they should be developed to give them the best chance of significantly improving health outcomes and moving countries as rapidly as possible towards universal access to essential health interventions. The guidelines should serve as overarching principles that will promote the success of health workforce plans, while ensuring that they are consistent with human rights. [adapted from author]

Joint Health Professions Statement on Task Shifting

This statement outlines guiding principles to ensure task shifting is effective.

Medical Dialogue: How to Kick-Start a Joint AIDS Response by Health Workers and Traditional Healers

This publication provides information on the medical dialogue, a method formulated to address the recommendation for collaboration between biomedical practitioners and traditional healers and the integration of traditional medicine into public health care to respond to AIDS. [adapted from author]

Assessing the Human Resource Capacity for Implementation of the National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children: Process Description and Tool Library

The purpose of this document is to provide a process, methodology and tools for assessing government human resource capacity to lead and manage an effective implementation of the NPA.

Monitoring the Health Workforce: Measurement Issues and Tools

This brief provides a list of facility-based data collection tools that have been developed by the World Health Organization and other partners. The resources can be used to meet a wide range of specific information needs on human resources in health systems. [adapted from summary]

Task Shifting: Rational Redistribution of Tasks among Health Workforce Teams

Reorganization and decentralization of health services according to a task shifting approach can help to address the current shortages of health workers. This document provides background on task-shifting and twenty-two guidelines for countries that are considering adopting or extending a task-shifting approach to health workforce teams. [from introduction]

Performance Needs Assessment for IUD Revitalization

One of the most important steps in the Performance Improvement Approach is the performance needs assessment (PNA). The PNA focuses on understanding the environment in which service providers work, i.e. the different systems within an organization that affect their performance, as well as the client and community perspectives which influence their family planning access. The performance factors, or those elements that providers need to be able to perform well, are the framework that guides the PI approach and what the PNA is geared to capture. [author’s description]

Maternity Workforce Resource Pack

This pack contains workforce planning checklists, together with case studies and frequently asked questions (FAQs) that other organisations have developed to solve common issues. This pack includes examples of good practice and the contact details of teams working in maternity services to enable organisations to follow up any issues raised. [from introduction]

Private Health Sector Quality Improvement Package: Implementation Guide for Midwives

This is a QI package for the private sector that includes a review of service statistics, accompanying a QI self-assessment tool for midwives to identify quality issues, and a linked action plan for midwives and supervisors to help solve issues the QI tool identifies. [publisher’s description]

iHRIS Software Suite

These open source software solutions each address a specific human resources for health (HRH) leadership issue: iHRIS Qualify - a training, certification and licensure tracking database; iHRIS Manage - a human resources management system; iHRIS Plan - workforce planning and modeling software; and iHRIS Retain - costing healthworker retention strategies software. [publisher’s description]

Developing a Competence Framework and Evaluation Tool for Primary Care Nursing in South Africa

Nurses provide the bulk of primary care services in South Africa. Post-apartheid health legislation envisions the provision of comprehensive primary services at all public clinics, which implies the need for a cadre of primary care nurses able to render such services. The objective of this study was to identify core competencies of clinic nurses and develop an evaluation tool for primary care nursing in South Africa. [from abstract]

International Opportunities in Medical Education

The purpose of this electronic resource is to make available information about the extent and nature of international opportunities for medical students, residents, and faculty. It provides information about which schools offer programs, how these are funded, and in which geographical regions they occur. In many cases, individual schools provide further information about their programs on their own websites. [publisher’s description]

International Medical Education Directory

The International Medical Education Directory (IMED) provides an accurate and up-to-date resource of information about international medical schools that are recognized by the appropriate government agency in the countries where the medical schools are located. The agency responsible for this recognition in most countries is the Ministry of Health. Medical schools that are recognized by the appropriate agencies in their respective countries are listed in the International Medical Education Directory. [publisher’s description]

Reviewing and Revising a Training Course

This tool provides a process for periodically reviewing and revising training sessions or courses in a systematic manner. [author’s description]

Supervisor Competency Self-Assessment Inventory

This Self-Assessment Inventory outlines the major areas of competence an effective supervisor must have. The competency areas are sub-divided into categories which correspond to the major functions supervisors perform. Its primary use is as a self-assessment tool. Individuals are encouraged to use it to assess their competence and performance as supervisors and use the results to develop a plan for improvement. This Inventory can also be used as a guide to curriculum development for Supervisory Training, using the components as the basis for a needs assessment exercise. [purpose]

PLHA-Friendly Achievement Checklist: a Self-Assessment Tool for Hospitals and Other Medical Institutions Caring for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA)

The checklist is intended as a self-assessment tool for managers to use in gauging how well their facility (hospital, clinic, or department) reaches, serves, and treats HIV-positive patients. This gives managers an opportunity to identify institutional strengths and weaknesses, consider ways to address the weaknesses, and later to assess progress toward PLHA-friendliness. The Checklist is designed in a simple format that can be readily adapted for each unique context. [from introduction]

Positive Practice Environments: Quality Workplaces, Quality Patient Care: Information and Action Tool Kit

This toolkit explores the nurse/workplace interface, overlapping factors that shape nurses’ work environments, the cost of unhealthy workplaces, and the characteristics and benefits of positive practice environments. A list of recommended actions and tools to help nurses negotiate for improved environments is also included. [from introduction]