Latest Resources

Creating a Work Climate that Motivates Staff and Improves Performance

This issue outlines the connections between work climate, employee motivation, and performance. It describes how managers can assess the climate in their work group and shows how they can use the results to make changes in leadership and management practices that will motivate their group to do the best work possible and improve results. [editor’s description]

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]

Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI): Is it a New Model for Effective Public Private Cooperation in International Public Health?

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) was established in 1999 to finance and speed the delivery of new and improved vaccines for children in the developing world. Through collaborative leadership and international funding, GAVI aims to improve health in developing countries, increase international public health equity, and serve as a model for others in the global health community. However, this paper questions the extent to which GAVI can actually achieve its goals.

Equity in the Distribution of Health Personnel: Draft Discussion Paper

In 2003 the Network published a discussion paper reviewing available literature and identifying key issues in need of further work, which this paper summarizes. In Southern Africa there are inadequate ratios of personnel to population for key skilled health personnel. There are a variety of push and pull factors that impact on the movement of healthcare workers. A more rigorous policy analysis is needed to stimulate innovation and to avoid measures and incentives counteracting each other. It is important to provide clearer policy analysis on production of health workers, on availability and distribution, and on movement and migration.

Impact of Management Training on Family Planning and Health Services Performance in Rural Bangladesh

This study assessed the impact of management training in the performance of managers from agencies in Bangladesh delivering primary healthcare services. [from abstract]

Human Resources for Health Exist in Communities

This paper describes three examples of human resource development in community-driven HIV/AIDS programmes. The basic proposition is that acknowledgement, inclusion of and support for community based health initiatives is necessary to understand fully where health action is occurring and where potential for expansion lies. The paper calls for an expanded definition of health systems encompassing work being carried out by communities who are at the frontline in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Health care workers live in communities, and communities are providing health care.

Payment of Lunch Allowance: A Case Study of the Uganda Health Service

This paper presents a case study of an intervention (the lunch allowance scheme) instituted in Uganda to improve retention and motivation of health workers. The study traces the scheme’s evolution, assesses its impact on the brain drain of health professionals (medical doctors and nurses), and identifies difficulties encountered and lessons learned. [abstract]

Validating a Work Group Climate Assessment Tool for Improving the Performance of Public Health Organizations

This article describes the validation of an instrument to measure work group climate in public health organizations in developing countries. The instrument, the Work Group Climate Assessment Tool, was applied in Brazil, Mozambique, and Guinea to assess the intermediate outcomes of a program to develop leadership for performance improvement. [from abstract]

Fixing Health Systems

A cautiously optimistic appraisal of the Tanzania Health Interventions Project (TEHIP) in Tanzania, which was designed to test the proposition that mortality and morbidy rates in developing countries could be significantly reduced even with modest resources if health care funding was allocated to cost-effective health interventions more in line with the prevailing local burden of disease. [from preface]

Human Resource Management (HRM) Rapid Assessment Tool for Public- and Private-Sector Health Organizations: A Guide for Strengthening HRM Systems

The Human Resource Management (HRM) Assessment Tool offers a method for assessing what an organization’s Human Resource Management system consists of and how well it functions. The HRM Assessment Tool helps users to develop strategies to improve the human resource system and make it as effective as possible. It can also serve as a basis for focusing discussions, brainstorming, and strategic planning. It is designed to be used in public and private-sector health organizations.

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.

International Migration of Health Workers: Labour and Social Issues

This study provides an overview of existing information on the migration of health workers, with an emphasis on related social and labour issues. It considers trends in migration, the working conditions of migrants, migration policies and recruitment practices, and the impact of international standards and trade agreements on conditions of migrant health workers. The study also outlines policies and practices associated with more socially acceptable forms of managed migration. It focuses on nurses and doctors, who have been in the forefront of current debate about health worker migration. [author’s description]

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]

Factors Affecting the Performance of Maternal Health Care Providers in Armenia

Over the last five years, international development organizations began to modify and adapt the conventional Performance Improvement Model for use in low-resource settings. This model outlines the five key factors believed to influence performance outcomes: job expectations, performance feedback, environment and tools, motivation and incentives, and knowledge and skills. This study presents a unique exploration of how the factors affect the performance of primary reproductive health providers (nurse-midwives) in two regions of Armenia. [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]

Human Resources Impact Assessment

For decades, discussions on human resources in health have ended with a ritual call for more and better manpower planning. But this traditional wisdom has been discredited by unrealistic or vague targets, based all too often on information that was inaccurate, outdated and unrelated to the policy agenda… Policy-makers and donors concerned with human resources problems may want to request those proposing a major new project or policy to make a systematic and formal human resource impact assessment during its preparation. Such assessments would examine the likely effects of the proposed project or policy on the health workforce.

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]

Wastage in the Health Workforce: Some Perspectives from African Countries

This paper illustrates that the way human resources for health (HRH) are trained and deployed in Africa does not enhance productivity and that countries are unable to realize the full potential expected from the working life of their health workers.

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).

HRM Resource Kit

This toolkit includes a collection of HRM resources and links assembled for the Global Health 2005 conference. Most of the resources are in Microsoft Word format and provide guidance on how to develop a variety of HRM documents or processes. Topics covered include supervision, hiring and recruitment, HR policies, and HIV Workplace Programs and training. [publisher’s description]

Forming Partnerships to Improve Public Health

This issue defines public-private partnerships, lists potential partners at different administrative levels, reviews the factors behind the growth in partnerships, looks at some of the benefits and challenges of partnerships, and offers thoughts on preparing for and implementing them. It also describes the steps involved in developing a contractual relationship and provides examples of several successful partnerships. [editors’ description]

Migration of Highly Skilled Persons from Developing Countries: Impact and Policy Responses: Synthesis Report

The synthesis report addresses the issues of the impact of high skilled emigration on developing countries, and the policy mixes and options available to both receiving and sending countries to harness its benefits. The study argues that the feedback or indirect effects of skilled migration can often outweigh any initial negative impacts on developing countries. The challenge is to maximize these benefits through appropriate policies relating to encouraging return migration, retention of manpower, tapping diaspora networks, and productive utilization of remittances.

Integrating Workforce Planning, Human Resources, and Service Planning

This paper provides an analysis of how labour market indicators can be integrated into service planning, discusses whether planning is sufficiently responsive and flexible to retain relevance and validity in rapidly changing health systems, describes different models and approaches to linking and integrating workforce planning and service planning, discusses methodological approaches to integrating planning, and examines effective approaches to the use of computer based scenario modeling to support assessment of current and future planning options. [from abstract]

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]

Pay and Non-Pay Incentives, Performance and Motivation

This paper provides an overview of evidence of the effects of incentives on the performance and motivation of independent health professionals and health workers.