Many low- and middle-income countries face daunting obstacles to meeting the health care needs of their people. To ensure that the right health worker is in the right place with the right skills, these countries require current, accurate data on human resources for health. A strong human resources information system (HRIS) enables health care leaders to quickly answer the key policy and management questions affecting health service delivery.
Between 2005 and 2007, the Capacity Project (led by IntraHealth) worked with national stakeholders to develop and release the iHRIS Suite, free and open source health workforce information software that supplies health sector leaders and managers with the information they need to assess HR problems, plan effective interventions, and evaluate those interventions. By the end of the Capacity Project, five countries had implemented iHRIS. During CapacityPlus, the power of open source approaches to maximize local ownership, capacity building, innovation, and partnership for HRIS strengthening accelerated, with country-led adoption and application of iHRIS reaching 20 countries.
In addition to software, CapacityPlus offered a program of technical assistance and expertise to ensure that the technology was transferred effectively and serves the ongoing ability of decision-makers to use data to lead and manage. This participatory approach results in systems that are appropriate for the context in which they are used and sustainable after a project's assistance ends.