The Vietnam Experience
Context and Health Workforce Challenge
In August, 2007 the USAID-funded Capacity project was asked to assist the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC), the public sector focal point for coordination of all HIV/AIDS activities, and its partners in implementing HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support, to identify specific actions to strengthen their HRH capacity for program management and coordination. The HRH assessment included UNAIDS, the World Bank, World Health Organization and the Asia Development Bank as key stakeholders.
The Capacity Project was asked to focus on HRH issues for the VAAC, as the leading entity addressing HIV/AIDS in Vietnam.
HAF Application: Methodology and Process
After the initial discussions with the Ministry of Health, which includes VAAC, the HAF was proposed as a pathway for VAAC in partnership with key stakeholders, to conduct a comprehensive HRH assessment. The anticipated outcome of the HRH assessment was a set of recommendations that would support VAAC to develop sufficient numbers and types of well trained health workers to meet the country’s needs for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support and to provide a process and framework that could also be applied to other national health issues such as avian flu.
The Capacity team worked with the VAAC, UNAIDS and others to jointly agree on a methodology for conducting the HRH assessment, supervise the work, participate in data collection and analysis, and in drafting recommendations. The VAAC Director, an epidemiologist, required that the HAF be presented in a “clinical trial” format and that some provincial/municipal level VAAC staff participate as observers during focus groups. Over the course of 9-12 months the Capacity team was able to reach agreements regarding these issues. The HAF framework was presented in a table format which presented the HAF circles as fields in the table and formed the HRH management systems questions (Annex 1). The HAF was also used as a source for forming the focus group and interview questions to collect HRH data at the central level (Annex 2) and the provincial/district level (Annex 3). After data collection was completed the HAF was again used as an organizing framework for articulating the findings and recommendations.
A set of prioritized recommendations for specific HRH actions related to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support were provided for VAAC to consider in making strategic planning decisions regarding HRH financing and workforce planning, development and support specific to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support. Specific tools have been transferred to the VAAC with the intent of assisting them and their partners in further developing a means for measuring progress from their investments in HRH.
Annex 1. HRH management systems questions