Expanding iHRIS to Support the Social Services Workforce

This post was originally published on the iHRIS blog.

Dykki SettleWhen we think of health care workers, we tend to think of doctors, nurses, midwives, and the like. We originally developed the iHRIS Suite to track and manage these traditional, well-defined cadres.

But many other professionals provide needed services in hospitals, clinics, and communities, and their roles may not be so well-defined. The social services workforce is a critical segment of these workers, bringing essential services to communities and their underserved populations, such as orphans and vulnerable children, the often unseen victims of the HIV epidemic. Because there are few standards for job roles and qualifications in this sector, it’s hard to identify and hire qualified social workers and deploy them to where they can be most effective. Read more »

At the Click of a Button: Jane Ruth Aceng Shares Good News

Jane Ruth AcengJane Ruth Aceng sits in a black leather chair in her office at the Uganda Ministry of Health. Even though she’s soft-spoken, you can hear the authority in her voice. And, as a nearby camera flash clicks and lights the room, you can sense she’s an important person. “I’m the director general of health services,” she states. “That means I’m the technical head for health in the country.”

Jane describes how planning for the health workforce used to be a nightmare. Uganda previously used a paper-based system to store information on the country’s health workers. Now, using a national health workforce information system called HRHIS, she shares good news, “We have a system where by just a click of a button, you know who is available in the system, you know how many health workers we have in the country, you know their qualifications, you know where they are, and you know what they are doing.” Read more »

iHRIS: Where Are We Now?

Shannon TurlingtonGlobal health workforce issues have only recently received focused attention in the field of international development. In 2006, the World Health Organization identified 57 countries that had a health workforce crisis, defined as having less than 2.3 doctors, nurses, and midwives per thousand population. That same year, while working on the Capacity Project, we visited some of these health workforce crisis countries to see what tools and technologies countries were using to address their health workforce needs. Read more »

Learning from Each Other: Study Tour in Namibia Informs Tanzania’s Approach to Health Worker Data

In Tanzania, CapacityPlus collaborates with the Tanzania Human Resource Capacity Project to strengthen the understanding and use of the Tanzania Human Resources Information System (THRIS) through human resources management training of health facility leaders and other stakeholders. CapacityPlus works in several countries to strengthen human resources information systems and implement the iHRIS software. This post was originally published on the IntraHealth International blog.

SeMkama Mwijarubieing success is believing in success. That sums up the response of the delegation IntraHealth/Tanzania sent earlier this year on a study tour to learn from colleagues in Namibia about their experiences implementing a large-scale human resources information system (HRIS). What an opportune moment it was to borrow experience from Namibia, where IntraHealth is also implementing an HRIS—and one that has made decisive progress!

In both Tanzania and Namibia, long distances between towns pose challenges on financial resources and time. Like many other countries, Tanzania and Namibia historically used manual filing systems to track health worker data and therefore faced difficulties understanding and aligning their health workforces with actual needs. Because data were difficult to access, aggregate, and analyze, plans did not reflect realities. Read more »

Picturing Our Work: Who’s There?

CapacityPlus’s Dykki Settle was excited to show me his photos from his latest trip to Uganda to support the launch of the country’s HRHIS.

As we breezed through his shots, Dykki picked out a few to linger on and tell me stories about. One stood out in my mind.

Read more »

Bounties: A New Approach for iHRIS Development, Implementation, and Sustainability

Carol BalesThe CapacityPlus iHRIS software developers based in Chapel Hill, NC, have initiated an exciting new approach to expanding the global iHRIS community. They are utilizing “code bounties” as a way to get more developers, implementers, and other open source enthusiasts involved in supporting and improving the iHRIS, which will help foster its sustainability beyond the life of the CapacityPlus project.

iHRIS is a suite of open source tools for managing and supporting health workers. Even though I’ve worked with the iHRIS team for years, I didn’t quite understand what code bounties were, so I asked one of the lead developers, Carl Leitner, a few questions. Read more »

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