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Workforce Planning and Leadership Print E-mail

Technical Expertise / Workforce Planning and Leadership

To strengthen health care, countries need accurate data and professional leadership to support strategic planning of human resources for health (HRH). The Capacity Project aimed to achieve the following results within the area of workforce planning and leadership:

  1. Strengthened human resources information systems (HRIS)
  2. Improved workforce planning, allocation and utilization
  3. Strengthened workforce policies
  4. Effective multisectoral stakeholder workforce planning groups
  5. Strengthened human resources management (HRM)
  6. Increased numbers and types of health workers deployed.

The most significant results included developing and applying an HRIS strengthening process and transferring HRIS software technology to the field; supporting HR strategic policy and plan development and implementation; and building HRH leadership and management skills, both at the country level and by contributing to the growth of an HRH leadership cadre in sub-Saharan Africa.

Lessons learned:

  1. Developing foundational systems such as HRIS helped to move HRH leadership to more strategic and data-driven decision-making. The link to using the data is not automatic, however, and workshops focusing on data-driven decision-making can be a very important tool in helping to get senior HRH leaders to use the more accurate data that becomes available through improved HRIS.
  2. HRM systems in the health sector are typically very weak, and these weak systems threaten to impede progress on all significant HRH interventions. Work to raise awareness about the need to strengthen HRM systems is ongoing, and the Project played an important role in raising this issue, but it needs significant future attention.
  3. A six-month blended learning program as piloted in Kenya holds much promise for building a critical mass of HR professionals at the country level, and creating an HRM reference group in the process.
  4. Fundamental changes in basic HR processes like recruitment and posting are very important to undertake and can have far-reaching results that go beyond the process itself. In Kenya, for example, the process modeled a more transparent and fair location-based recruiting and placement system that the government may adopt in the long run. These types of fundamental changes take time, however, as they frequently involve entities outside the health sector, raise difficult issues and are often highly political.
  5. Task shifting is more likely to be successful when closely linked to policy change.

Learn more about the Project’s workforce planning and leadership results.

Related resources:

See other areas in Technical Expertise: Workforce Development; Performance Support; Knowledge Management

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