New Resource Spotlight: Human Resources Management Assessment Approach

Human resources management (HRM) is the integrated use of systems, policies, and practices that provide the range of functions needed to plan, produce, deploy, manage, and sustain the health workforce. HRM focuses on people: how they fit within a health system; how they are hired, trained, paid, and supported; and how they can be most effective.

HR Management Assessment ApproachStrengthening the management of the health workforce is essential to improve the quality of family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and other key services, and to ensure that global investments to increase the number of trained health workers are supported and sustained. However, in many countries facing severe health workforce challenges, HRM systems and their weaknesses are often overlooked.

A new tool from CapacityPlus is designed to guide policy-makers, managers, and human resources practitioners toward better understanding and responding to the HRM challenges facing their health systems.

The HRM Assessment Approach promotes the collection and analysis of information on defined HRM challenges and informs the development of policy, strategy, systems, and process interventions to respond to challenges in four key areas of HRM: health workforce planning and implementation, work environment and conditions, human resources information systems, and performance management. The approach aligns with and supports the use of the HRH Action Framework as a means of assessing and analyzing HRM issues in a comprehensive manner.

“This assessment approach helps health workforce managers at all levels to simplify the analysis of HRM challenges and identify appropriate and doable actions to address these—doing so by placing the assessment process firmly into the hands of the user and enabling local ownership and joint problem-solving among stakeholders,” explains CapacityPlus’s Paul Marsden, lead author on the tool. 

Development of the HRM Assessment Approach has been informed by its application and adaptation in a number of different contexts. It has been used to establish an HRM baseline of the health workforce in Bhutan; to map HRM functions and processes in the Dominican Republic and Papua New Guinea; to develop HRM content for a new HRH policy and strategy in Ghana; and to carry out a gap analysis of the social service workforce in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe, among other applications.

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