New Publication Spotlight: The Composition of the Social Service Workforce in HIV/AIDS-Affected Contexts

A new CapacityPlus publication presents data and recommendations related to a vital segment of countries’ human resources for health. Social service workers are a key component of health teams, and they play an invaluable role in supporting, protecting, and advocating for vulnerable children and families.

Publication coverAs social service system strengthening assumes a more prominent position on the development agenda, building the capacity of the social service workforce has become increasingly critical. Standardization of definitions, functions, and competencies of the social service workforce is essential to support this work.

In The Composition of the Social Service Workforce in HIV/AIDS-Affected Contexts, authors Kelley Bunkers, Amy Bess, Alex Collins, and James McCaffery of CapacityPlus and Maury Mendenhall of USAID describe the composition of the social service workforce drawn from several sources of data, including a literature review primarily focused on workforce issues in HIV/AIDS-impacted countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This technical report is intended to help the field move toward a common understanding of functions associated with different cadres within the social service workforce, titles associated with workers who perform these functions, and education or training that is typically associated with these cadres.

Taking into consideration the differences across countries, the authors propose additional emphasis on some broad areas—including examples of promising practices—that will help to clarify the composition of the social service workforce. A more in-depth look at how public-sector social service workers are classified in Kenya is available as an annex.

To learn more, read the new publication. And let us know what you think; we welcome your feedback.

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