CapacityPlus expanded the evidence base for the importance of human resources management (HRM) and leadership; a compelling case study is the Dominican Republic, which implemented a comprehensive program of HRM strengthening that demonstrates how such an effort can contribute to long-term policy improvements, cost savings, and increased accessibility and use of HIV/AIDS, family planning, and other key services.
Human resources management is the “integrated use of data, policy and practice to plan for necessary staff, recruit, hire, deploy, develop and support health workers” (Global Health Workforce Alliance [GHWA], USAID, and World Health Organization [WHO] 2006). An effective HRM system in the health sector is vital to achieving sustainable solutions to workforce challenges and improving health system performance (Buchan 2004). A well-functioning HRM system requires a cadre of human resources managers who possess leadership and management skills, have access to timely and accurate information for decision-making and planning, and can establish effective and efficient processes for workforce recruitment, deployment, performance management, and retention.
Strategy and Approaches
CapacityPlus built the capacity of national stakeholders to apply approaches, tools, and resources to improve HRH leadership and strengthen their HRM systems to provide an enabling environment for the health workforce to perform well and deliver quality health services. Key areas of focus included:
Identifying and addressing HRM challenges: CapacityPlus’s Human Resources Management Assessment Approach guides policy-makers, managers, and supervisors to conduct an in-depth diagnosis and analysis of key HRM functions, policies, and practices; identify inefficiencies and weaknesses; and determine the most appropriate solutions and interventions to address HRM challenges affecting service delivery in a systemic manner. The assessment approach focuses on the four main functional areas that are key for an effective HRM system: 1) health workforce planning and implementation; 2) work environment and conditions; 3) HR information systems; and 4) performance management.
Building capacity of HR leaders: The project’s comprehensive HRH Professional Development Program contains training session plans and materials that have been used to develop the knowledge and skills of HR leaders, managers, and others responsible for the planning and management of the health workforce. The course includes multiple modules that can be tailored to the needs of learners, including content on HRM, leadership, data-driven decision-making, workforce planning, recruitment and deployment, retention, performance management, work environment, and HR finance.
Strengthening national HRH working groups: CapacityPlus’s Guidelines for Forming and Sustaining Human Resources for Health Stakeholder Leadership Groups provide a practical and clear set of actions that HRH leaders at the country level have taken to successfully launch and sustain stakeholder leadership groups. These groups represent the key cross-sectoral entities whose participation is vital in advocating for appropriate HRH action and providing strong leadership to ensure and sustain effective implementation of HRH interventions at the country level.