The Human Capacity Challenge
In many developing countries, health systems face daunting challenges to meet even basic health care needs. These challenges include:
- Inaccurate or incomplete data about the health workforce, which hampers decision-making
- Inadequate numbers of qualified health workers
- Mismatches between needed health worker skills and available skills
- Retention problems, including out-migration of trained providers and shifts between sectors
- Slow and ineffective recruitment, hiring and deployment processes
- Lack of supportive human resources policies
- Weak planning and management systems for the health workforce
- Poor use of available financial and material resources.
A comprehensive and coordinated response to these challenges is vitalâ€”without immediate attention, the increasing pressures on national health systems could lead to their contraction or collapse, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV/AIDS has had the most severe effects on the health workforce.
The Capacity Project worked to strengthen human resources to implement quality health programming in developing countries, focusing on:
- Improving workforce planning and leadership to ensure that the right type and number of health workers are deployed to the right locations
- Developing better education and training programs so that health workers have the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of their communities
- Strengthening systems to support workforce performance and encourage workers to remain on the job.
Highlights of the Capacity Projectâ€™s Results as of September 30, 2009
Planning, Developing and Supporting the Health Workforce: Results and Lessons Learned from the Capacity Project, 2004-2009 (Final Report)
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