HRH Global Resource Center Reaches 3,000

Rebecca RhodesIn January, I added the 3,000th resource to the HRH Global Resource Center (GRC), CapacityPlus’s digital library for human resources for health (HRH) information. At such a milestone, I began reflecting on how the GRC got here and where it is going.

Over the past five years of working on the GRC, I have seen the growing emphasis on knowledge management as a tool to support evidence-based decision-making and share lessons learned to make the most cost-effective and sustainable decisions for health worker interventions. The advent of the World Health Organization’s Health Manager’s Website, the Global Health Workforce Alliance’s knowledge center, and the K4Health project demonstrate the growing interest for this information as part of the way global health development does business. Read more »

Who’s Doing What in the HRH World?

Kate TulenkoI still find out most of my important health workforce information via word of mouth. Yes, I regularly read the latest journal articles and subscribe to half a dozen human resources for health (HRH) and health systems listservs, follow over 250 people on Twitter, and receive RSS updates from several HRH websites, but I never seem to get the information I really need. Who is working to strengthen health managers? What country is interested in designing a retention package for its health workers? What funder might be interested in funding a survey of how health workers currently use their mobile phones and how they would like to use them to do their jobs better? In this digital world there has to be a better way for us to share information. Read more »

Advocating Open Access: Information Has the Power to Save Lives

This post was originally published on the IntraHealth International blog.

To mark tCorinne Farrellhe beginning of Open Access Week, a global event now in its fifth year, which promotes open access as a new norm in scholarship and research, we started thinking about the concept of “open.” Google defines it as:

Allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked up: ‘the door was wide open.’

IntraHealth has long championed the importance of health workers and managers having open access to information, particularly in developing countries. Open access is a natural extension of that work. As we blogged last spring, readily available and accessible information can help health workers save lives. Read more »

Only Human: The Challenge of Intentional Knowledge Management

Corinne FarrellThe last week was a bit of a whirlwind, as I spent Thursday and Friday in Washington, DC at the KM Impact Challenge unConference. There, I shared CapacityPlus’s experiences measuring the success of the HRH Global Resource Center.

I left the conference holding a stack of new contacts’ business cards and brainstorming uses for network analyses. I said to myself, on Monday I’ll tell my colleagues all about the unConference. Then my return flight was delayed. I got home late, rose early, spent hours at the emergency room with my three-year-old getting stitches, cleaned my house, came to work on Monday, filled out an expense report, wrote a trip report, sorted through 400 unread e-mails, and my “to do” list exploded. Read more »

Open Access: The Only Viable Option for Change

Rebecca RhodesWhy do we publish health research? If the editors of PLoS Medicine are correct that “medical journals have many roles, but, above all, dissemination of medical information is key,” then journals need to be accessible to the most important data consumers—frontline health workers.

While research for its own sake is necessary to advance scientific understanding, this is not enough. At its core health development research should save the lives of people who—without access to basic health care—die from diseases easily cured or preventable childbirth complications.

If the individuals who could most contribute to and benefit from information on health in the developing world find the resources cost-prohibitive to access, then how much impact can we really expect from research? Read more »

Removing the Blindfold: Mapping Health Worker Schools to Improve Education

Shaun NoronhaThe transformative scale-up of health worker education can be like the game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. We know so little about health worker education that it often feels like we’re playing blindfolded.

Recognizing that we can’t really transform health worker education until we know where health schools are located, the World Health Organization organized a panel at the Second Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in Bangkok to discuss global mapping of health worker educational institutions.

I was invited to speak about the mapping of nursing schools. Read more »

Innovation and Exchange at the Global Health Mini-University

Jennifer SolomonLast week, public health professionals, students, and government workers from across the country and abroad filled the George Washington University’s Marvin Center’s third floor to attend USAID’s 10th Annual Global Health Mini-University. The day-long program offered over 80 sessions and poster presentations on topics spanning technology, workforce issues, funding, and diseases.

In an afternoon session, Maurice Middleberg proposed a strategy for the Obama Administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) to consider for addressing the current worldwide health worker shortage. “The US should create HRH [human resources for health] strategies that are responsive to national HRH strategies, with country ownership,” said Middleberg. Furthermore, the strategy must also address health workers’ needs. In addition to training and deploying new health workers, the GHI strategy must include retention. “Nobody stops to ask the health worker why she or he is leaving. It turns out that health workers are real human beings with complex needs,” he said. Read more »

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