Browse by Resource Type

Using Mid-level Cadres as Substitutes for Internationally Mobile Health Professionals in Africa: A Desk Review

Substitute health workers are cadres who take on some of the functions and roles normally reserved for internationally recognized health professionals such as doctors, pharmacists and nurses but who usually receive shorter pre-service training and possess lower qualifications. This desk review was conducted on the education, regulation, scopes of practice, specialization, nomenclature, retention and cost-effectiveness of substitute health workers in terms of their utilization.

Equity, Equal Opportunities, Gender and Organization Performance

This review highlighted the fact that employment equity debates and policies largely refer to high-income countries. Even in these countries, there is more rhetorical commitment than hard evidence of successful outcomes. Evaluations have been mainly post hoc and many initiatives have not been evaluated at all. There is a continuing debate about what is the appropriate kind of intervention, a number of competing models being advocated. The most noticeable trend seems to be away from reliance on targeting by numbers (particularly for recruitment) and towards more comprehensive approaches across a range of inter- and intra-organizational interventions and over the whole career of the employee.

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]

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.

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.

Human Resources for Health: Overcoming the Crisis

In this analysis of the global workforce, the Joint Learning Initiative (JLI) - a consortium of more than 100 health leaders - proposes that mobilisation and strengthening of human resources for health, neglected yet critical, is central to combating health crises in some of the world’s poorest countries and for building sustainable health systems in all countries. Nearly all countries are challenged by worker shortage, skill mix imbalance, maldistribution, negative work environment, and weak knowledge base.

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]

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.

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]

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

Costs of HIV/AIDS Among Professional Staff in the Zambian Public Health Sector

Despite their high level of training and medical knowledge, health professionals remain a population that is vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. AIDS-related mortality has been recognized as a significant factor in the loss of trained health staff in high prevalence countries, but little empirical research has been done to quantify the damage. In this study, we applied a case/comparison methodology to estimate the costs of HIV infection in the professional workforce at three Zambian healthcare institutions: Lusaka District Health Management Team, University Teaching Hospital (the national tertiary care hospital) and Kasama District Hospital and Health Management Team. Deaths or medical retirements among professional staff were analyzed wherever the complete personnel records were available, with the exclusion of cases resulting from violence, accident or disease of sudden onset. 108 cases were identified over a three-year period ending in October 2003. Each case was matched with two comparisons of similar age, sex and professional training. Data were collected for both cases and comparisons on absenteeism, compensation and medical care and reimbursement. Data were also collected on death and retirement benefits paid, or owed, to the cases. [author’s description]

Performance Improvement Stages, Steps and Tools

Considered an introduction to the Performance Improvement Approach in low resource settings. Stages, Steps and Tools presents an easy-to-use guide for finding the root causes of performance problems and then selecting and implementing interventions to fix those deficits. A set of tools can be used independently or in conjunction with other interventions to improve the quality and accessibility of health care services. [

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]

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]

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.

Health Sector Human Resource Crisis in Africa: An Issues Paper

The human resource (HR) problem in the health sector in sub-Saharan Africa has worsened to an extent that it has reached crisis proportions in some countries. Although the gravity of the problem varies across the continent, the situation in some of the countries is so grave that urgent action is needed. A complex set of factors has contributed to this problem, some exogenous, such as the austere fiscal measures introduced by structural adjustment, often resulting in cutbacks in the number of health workers.

HIV/AIDS, Human Resources and Sustainable Development

This report, written for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg 2002, discusses the impact of HIV on the workforce and calls for governments to live up to the benchmark of action agreed to in the 2001 Declaration of Commitment to HIV/AIDS.

Policy Brief Two: Rehabilitating the Workforce: The Key to Scaling up MNCH (World Health Report 2005: Making Every Mother and Child Count)

This policy brief from the World Health Report 2005 argues that it will not be possible to effectively scale up Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) care without confronting the global health workforce crisis. It highlights how lack of managerial autonomy, gender discrimination and violence in the workplace, dwindling salaries, poor working conditions and some donor interventions have all contributed to a lack of productivity, as well as the rural to urban, public to private and poor to rich country brain drain and migration. The brief argues the need to plan the expansion of the workforce while implementing corrective measures to rehabilitate productivity and morale.

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]