The Knowledge library

Knowledge Library

Health Workforce Productivity: An Approach for Measurement, Analysis, and Improvement

Increasing health workers’ productivity will make service delivery more efficient and ensure that high-quality family planning, reproductive health, HIV and AIDS, maternal and child health and other key services are accessible to the population. This free course on the Global Health eLearning Center, by CapacityPlus’s Rachel Deussom and Wanda Jaskiewicz of IntraHealth International, explores some basic concepts of health workforce productivity. It provides useful descriptions of a quantitative, formulaic approach for measuring productivity at the facility level; possible underlying causes of low productivity and methods to measure them; and potential interventions to improve productivity and strengthen health services. It takes approximately two hours to complete the course, after which each learner will receive a certificate.

Using Evidence for Human Resources for Health Decision-Making: An Example from Uganda on Health Workforce Recruitment and Retention

A strong and well-distributed health workforce is necessary for providing access to high-quality health care and achieving national and global health goals. Developing and implementing policies to effectively address health workforce challenges demands relevant data for evidence-based decision-making. This technical brief offers six recommendations to help national stakeholders transform evidence into policy decisions and subsequent action. Using an example from Uganda, the authors illustrate how the development and sharing of evidence can support decision-making for change in health workforce recruitment and retention policies, toward the aim of improving access to high-quality health care for the population.

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.

Health Professional School Leadership and Health Sector Reform, Performance, and Practice

In the transition to the post-Millennium Development Goals era, many low and middle-income countries will be making significant shifts in their national health policies. The leadership that is drawn upon to make policy changes tends to be in ministries of health, flagship hospitals, physicians and nurses associations, and social protection entities. Health professional schools are an additional and valuable—yet often overlooked—source of leadership in health reform and health policy-making. This technical brief highlights some examples of how the education and research leadership of health professional schools has engaged, influenced, or obtained resources from national policy-makers and others with significant influence on the health sector. The brief also reviews instances in which different health educational institutions and professional associations have worked to shape national responses to health system needs.

Graduate Tracking Systems for the Medical Schools in Africa: Processes for Developing an Implementation Framework

Human resources for health are critical for effective health systems. In Africa, the number of doctors and nurses required to provide essential health services will be deficient by an estimated 800,000 in 2015. Numerous interventions have been implemented to mitigate these shortages; tracking graduates from African universities is critical to determine whether interventions are effective. Based on a community of practice theory, a Graduate Tracking Technical Working Group was established within the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) network. The group, with CapacityPlus, developed graduate tracking requirements for MEPI institutions and countries through a collaborative process. A framework was created to guide the establishment of graduate tracking systems consisting of seven core processes or elements: 1) general requirements; 2) locate graduates; 3) collect/update information; 4) search and view information; 5) create tracking survey tools; 6) manage tracking survey response data; and 7) generate reports. CapacityPlus’s Dykki Settle contributed to this article in the journal’s MEPI supplement issue.

Better Data, Stronger Health Workforce: The Open Source iHRIS Approach

An overview of the free open source iHRIS platform of health workforce information tools and software. The iHRIS software suite consists of five interoperable applications that allow health workforce leaders and managers to plan, develop, and manage a health workforce efficiently and effectively to meet national or institutional health objectives.

CapacityPlus hosted a knowledge-sharing and dissemination event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on May 6. The program showcased iHRIS, the leading open source software for tracking and managing data on the health workforce. Through a combination of presentations by USAID and CapacityPlus, interactive roundtable discussions, software demonstrations, and a moderated question-and-answer session, participants experienced each of the five iHRIS applications (Manage, Train, Qualify, Plan, Retain), learned about success stories resulting from countries using iHRIS, and discussed the power of open source approaches for maximizing local ownership, capacity-building, innovation, and partnership. Read the related news and access videos and presentations: Read more »

Community-Based Education Programs in Africa: Faculty Experience within the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Network

This article examines the various models, challenges, and evaluative efforts of community-based education programs at Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) schools and makes recommendations to strengthen those programs in the African context. Data were gathered from 12 MEPI schools. All schools reported a number of challenges in meeting the demands of increased student enrollment. Planned strategies used to tackle these challenges include motivating faculty, deploying students across expanded centers, and adopting innovations. Although the programs have similar goals, their strategies for achieving these goals vary. To identify approaches that successfully address the challenges, particularly with increasing enrollment, medical schools need to develop structured models and tools for evaluating the processes, outcomes, and impacts of community-based education programs. Such efforts should be accompanied by training faculty and embracing technology, improving curricula, and using global/regional networking opportunities. CapacityPlus’s Rebecca Bailey and Christopher Deery contributed to this article in the journal’s MEPI supplement issue.

Recruitment of Community Health Workers

This chapter by CapacityPlus/IntraHealth International authors appears in MCHIP’s publication, Developing and Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs at Scale: A Reference Guide and Case Studies for Program Managers and Policymakers, which provides an in-depth review of issues and questions that should be considered when addressing key issues relevant for large-scale community health worker programs. Chapter 8 considers key questions, recommendations, and challenges for community health worker recruitment planning and implementation, including selection, resource availability, and retention.

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