The Knowledge library

Knowledge Library

Health Workforce Education: Investing in the Next Generation of Health Workers

On April 14, 2015, CapacityPlus and SHOPS presented a webinar on innovative investment options for health workforce education and training. Over 40 participants joined in the session, which offered presentations and question-and-answer sessions with participants engaging both the speakers and each other. Access a recording of the webinar and view presentation slides. Read more »

Promoting Gender Equality in the Health Workforce: An Advocacy Tool

Health workforce leaders may not be aware of the ways in which gender discrimination impedes efforts to develop, efficiently deploy, and fairly compensate their workforce. This can result in maldistribution, absenteeism, and a limited pool of motivated health workers, which can negatively impact the provision of health care. This advocacy tool helps users to understand how common forms of gender inequalities and discrimination can negatively affect the health workforce; assess whether health workers may be experiencing one or more forms of discrimination; and successfully advocate and take action through policy-making and improved management to reduce gender discrimination and build a more motivated and effective workforce to serve the population’s family planning, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and other primary health care needs.

Use of an Interactive Voice Response System to Deliver Refresher Training in Senegal: Findings from Pilot Implementation and Assessment

In-service training reinforces and updates health workers’ knowledge, but it is often expensive and requires providers to leave their posts. Interactive voice response (IVR) is a technology—possible with any type of phone—that delivers information via audio recordings and allows users to provide feedback by pressing a number key. CapacityPlus developed, deployed, and assessed an innovative mLearning system that used a combination of IVR and SMS text messaging to deliver refresher training to family planning providers in Senegal, focusing on management of contraceptive side effects and counseling to dispel misconceptions. The pilot application among 20 midwives, nurses, nursing assistants, and health agents took place in two districts in Thiès Region of Senegal. Evaluation findings showed that an mLearning system that delivers refresher training to family planning providers via simple mobile phones using IVR and SMS text is appropriate, feasible, acceptable, and associated with sustained gains in knowledge.

Health Workforce Productivity Analysis and Improvement Toolkit

Health Workforce Productivity Analysis and Improvement ToolkitThe health workforce is critical for ensuring access to high-quality family planning/reproductive health, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, and other services in order to improve health outcomes. While increasing the number of health workers where there are shortages is essential, it is equally important to improve the productivity of the existing workforce and make service delivery more efficient. The Health Workforce Productivity Analysis and Improvement Toolkit describes a step-wise process to measure the productivity of facility-based health workers, understand the underlying causes of productivity problems, and identify potential interventions to address them. Users can enter and save facility-level data on service delivery outputs and human resources costs in order to calculate total health workforce productivity and compare these rates across facilities. This process differentiates higher-productivity facilities from lower-productivity ones, which through a qualitative assessment can help managers and supervisors to consider which factors are affecting health workforce productivity in the facilities.

Selected Health Workforce Tools from CapacityPlus

This overview compiles selected tools and resources for the global health workforce from CapacityPlus, and includes brief descriptions and links to online versions. A related overview presents tools and resources that are available in French.

Scaling Up Health Workforce Education and Training: Guide for Applying the Bottlenecks and Best Buys Approach

Bottlenecks and Best BuysCapacityPlus’s Bottlenecks and Best Buys Approach is designed to help educational institutions identify obstacles to increasing the production of competent and qualified health workers that can be overcome through limited yet strategic investments. This guide identifies the stakeholders who should be involved, the steps in conducting a bottlenecks assessment, and a method for using the results to identify and build consensus on the most effective and affordable actions (best buys) for overcoming bottlenecks. It also provides tools and examples for strategic steps in the approach, such as engaging stakeholders, conducting a situation analysis, defining the school’s scale-up goal, leading group interviews, analyzing the results, and presenting the final bottlenecks and best buys report to external stakeholders and potential investors. Access the guide and annexes, along with related resources.

Building the “Educational Home”: Staying Connected to Alumni with MEPI Graduate Tracking in Tanzania

This case study is part of the interactive ePlatform for the World Health Organization’s guidelines on transforming and scaling up health professionals’ education and training. CapacityPlus is collaborating with the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Coordinating Center, MEPI Physician Tracking Technical Working Group, and MEPI-supported medical schools in 11 African countries to develop resources and good practices for graduate tracking and to foster exchange through a regional graduate tracking network. The MEPI Connect graduate tracking software is helping African medical schools to remain connected with their graduates. Tracking allows institutions to assess the effectiveness of strategies to retain graduates at posts in underserved areas.

Developing a Human Resources for Health (HRH) Effort Index to Measure Country-Level Status in HRH

Human resources for health (HRH) are an essential component of health systems and crucial to increased accessibility and quality of services. However, there is a scarcity of HRH indicators and the few that exist are often unreliable, inconsistently related to outcomes, or do not inform on the multidimensional nature of the area. Based on HRH and performance-based frameworks, CapacityPlus and a technical advisory group developed the HRH Effort Index to measure inputs and outputs in HRH. Presented at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference in Bangkok (January 26–31, 2015), this poster highlights preliminary results from testing the HRH Effort Index in Kenya and Nigeria.