April 2012

squares3    Message from the Executive Director

Dear readers,

As the Alliance enters the second phase of its ten year mandate, the Alliance Board is in the process of revisiting the strategic priorities to ensure that it continues to play a catalytic and value added role in light of the new global health landscape. To this end, we will have a preview of the new strategic framework during the World Health Assembly in May. This preview also serves as an invitation to comments by our members and partners, with a stake in health workforce development - making the whole process inclusive and participatory. More information on the process for collating comments will be available on our website shortly.

I encourage you to participate in this exercise so that together we can ensure for a committed and motivated health workforce to better serve our communities. Thank you for your support in the work of the Alliance.

Dr Mubashar Sheikh

squares3    NEWS

External Evaluation of the Global Health Workforce Alliance

Having reached the critical juncture of 5 years of existence in its original 10-year mandate, the Board of the Global Health Workforce Alliance (the Alliance) commissioned an external evaluation of its work to date, with a view to take stock of our experience so far, and help define a strategic framework for the following years. The external evaluation, conducted by the firm Oxford Policy Management, recognized several important areas of contribution and value added of the Alliance, together with some areas that require improvements.  

The Alliance Board thoroughly examined its findings through a Board retreat dedicated to reflecting on this, by developing a strategic background paper which placed the evaluation findings in a broader context, and considering wider strategic issues of relevance to the future direction of the Alliance. Following this analysis, the Board has developed an initial response to the evaluation report. Read more

Africa: Strengthening health workforce advocacy through our regional networks

Strengthening the health workforce in Sub-Saharan Africa is the key objective of our partnerships with regional African institutions. Recently, Harmonization for Health in Africa (HHA) positively considered the membership of the Alliance as an associate member. With this, the Alliance joins AfBD, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, USAID, WHO, WB and others in their efforts to provide regional support to governments in Africa in strengthening their health systems. Read more

Alliance collaborates with Africa Public health to develop African health workforce scorecards

The Alliance has supported and collaborated with the Africa Public Health / 15%+ Campaign to develop evidence based Africa Health Workforce scorecards and factsheets which provide a comparative analysis of human resources for health in twenty countries in the region with high burdens of maternal and child mortality and morbidity. Read more

squares3    HIGHLIGHTS

The Alliance participates at the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Health

The Executive Director of the Alliance, Dr. Mubashar Sheikh recently spoke at the UK's All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Health. The APPG, led by Lord Nigel Crisp, will be reviewing two topics per year in order to help raise the profile of health and development issues in the UK Parliament and with the UK Government. The topic under review at the event was innovative skill mix in the health workforce. In particular, it looked at some of the successful innovations from Sub-Saharan Africa and considering whether the UK's National Health Service NHS might glean some useful insights from these experiences. Dr. Sheikh spoke on improving skills mix as one of the key strategies supported and advocated by Alliance and referred to several examples of community health workers and midlevel providers.

Alliance sends congratulatory messages on senior appointments

In the light of the recent high ranking appointments, the Chair of the Alliance and Executive Director have sent congratulatory messages to Dr. Jim Kim, President elect of the World Bank,  Dr. Anders Nordstorm of Sweden on his appointment as Ambassador for Global health by the Government of Sweden and Mr. Gabriel Jaramillo, new General Manager of the GFATM. Read the letters


Now online! Comprehensive country profiles of countries implementing the Country Coordination and Facilitation (CCF) process

In response to the critical shortage of health workers, the Alliance has developed the CCF - Principles and Process on human resources for health (HRH) for an integrated health workforce response. The CCF was conceptualized in 2009. With a sensitization phase in early 2010, its roll-out commenced in the latter part of 2010 with a first wave of 22 countries across all regions.

The Alliance is delighted to establish comprehensive web profiles of the 22 HRH crisis countries implementing the CCF. The new country pages provide comprehensive sources of country specific information on the health workforce crisis and the Alliance’s response. In addition to health workforce data and statistics, the web profiles provide a brief analysis of health workforce and trends as well as links to latests plans and policies, case studies and a list of Alliance members working in the country. Click here to access the country web profiles


Call for Abstracts for the 7th AAAH conference

The 7th AAAH conference will be held in Bangladesh from 5-7 December 2012 on the theme of Leadership Development for Health System Strengthening: A focus on Human Resources for Health’. A call for abstracts is now open. Read more

Third South American Health Council of UNASUR, Lima Peru

The 3rd Meeting of the Technical Group for Development and Management of Human Resources in Health (RHUS GT) of the South American Health Council of UNASUR, in Lima at the end of March. Alliance Executive Director, Dr Mubashar Sheikh participated at the meeting and presented on HRH global perspectives and challenges. UNASUR provided a good platform for the Alliance’s engagement with a number of countries in the region. Meetings were organized with delegates of participating countries and specific areas of collaboration were discussed particularly for further strengthening the ongoing work on CCF with El Salvador, Peru and Honduras.

Meeting of the Swiss Interdepartmental Group on Migration and Health Workforce

The Alliance was invited to participate in a meeting in Bern on 30 April, which brought together the Swiss Interdepartmental Group on Migration and Health Workforce, and various nongovernmental stakeholders concerned with the international migration of health personnel in Switzerland.  The meeting provided an opportunity for exchanges of experience and dialogue for participants in the context of the follow-up of the adoption of the WHO Code of practice.  Read more


Global Health Workforce Alliance at the 65th World Health Assembly

The 65th World Health Assembly, which takes place from 21-26 May, will discuss a specific health agenda prepared by the WHO Executive Board. Although there are no HRH related agenda items tabled for discussion this year, the Alliance is using the opportunity to host several events and activities around Assembly.  A preview session of the new strategic agenda for the second phase of the Alliance is scheduled to take place on May 22 at the UN building. A side session will be held to launch a new report from our Private Sector Taskforce on Health Workforce Innovation: Accelerating Private Sector Responses to the Human Resources for Health Crisis. The Alliance will also be co-hosting the Health Worker Innovation Awards spearheaded by Aspen Institute. More information on these events will be available on our website shortly here.


High Burden Country Initiative (HBCI) develops Assessment Framework to guide national midwifery assessments

The Technical Working Group (TWG) and Secretariat of the HBCI initiative has developed an ‘Operational Guidance and Assessment Framework’ to guide the national midwifery assessments, which have been widely reviewed by internal and external experts and field-tested in Ethiopia and Bangladesh. The Alliance is spearheading the development of the national assessment in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the financial support of the French Muskoka Initiative. The objective of the national assessment is to analyze the midwifery workforce at the community level, specifically the MNH service provision; the performance of the midwifery workforce; work environment; management and policies; and financing of the HRH providing MNH services. Data will be collected on formal policies, guidelines and regulations, as well as on the current situation at the service provision level and on promising or innovative practices.


Dementia Report 2012New WHO report on dementia calls for better training of health workers to diagnose and treat dementia

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Alzheimer's Disease International’s new report Dementia: a public health priority calls for strengthening care for people living with dementia and solicits increased support and adequate training to caregivers. According to the report, treating and caring for people with dementia currently costs the world more than US$ 604 billion per year. The report recommends involving existing caregivers in designing programmes to provide better support for people with dementia and at the same time, health workforce training needs to pay closer attention to the skills required to provide both clinical and long-term care.


Engaging Geneva based country missions

In a move to broaden our strategic partnerships with countries, the Alliance Secretariat has been engaging with representatives of Geneva based country missions to the UN. Meetings have been held with the missions of Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and Tanzania in the past months to explore ways of working together and building synergies to address the health workforce crisis including the implementation of the Code of Practise.

squares4    MEMBERS' CORNER

AMREFAfrican Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) awarded World Federation of Public Health Associations 2012 Organizational Award

Alliance member AMREF was recently conferred with the World Federation of Public Health Associations 2012 Organizational Award, in recognition of its outstanding achievements and contributions to the field of public health.  Read more

HWAIHWAI convenes first stakeholder dialogue on HRH in Bangladesh

The first stakeholder dialogue on Human Resource for Health (HRH) in Bangladesh took place on 28th March 2012. The dialogue was mainly to start advocacy on the need of adequate and skilled health workforce for well-functioning health system and advocate for the Country Coordination and Facilitation (CCF) process as initiated by the Global Health Workforce Alliance (the Alliance). Read more

WEMOSWemos at TEDx in Holland

Long time Alliance member Wemos participated at the recent TEDxMaastricht event where Director, Anke Tijtsma spoke on the on the topic of Health Unlimited.  Watch here



Public health workforce consultation launched - Department of Health UK
The consultation, which was signposted in the public health document Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Update and way forward, is open until 29 June 2012.  

Africa: Training is the Most Common Human Resource-Related Activity Supported By the Global Fund and Other Large Funders - Global Fund Observer
The researchers concluded that a more coordinated in-country strategy among the three agencies would improve the overall impact of external financing on the health workforce.  

US donates Sh3.4 billion for training health workers - The Star
The US government has donated Sh3.4 billion for training health workers in Kenya.

Somalian delegation takes home the ‘best lesson’ - Pakistan Today
Pakistan has one of the world’s best Lady Health Worker’s Programme and Pakistani assistance to Somalia for building a same successful system means a lot to us, International Consultant on Health System Dr Khalif Bile Mohamud said.

Rwanda: Grassroots Health Workers Uplifting Rural Communities - AllAfrica
After undertaking training through the PEACE Plan, a faith-based project, he began volunteering as a Community Peace Servant (health worker) to serve his community.

Why do health workers in rural Tanzania prefer public sector employment? - BMC Health Services Research
Research article found a clear preference for public sector employment. This was associated with
health worker rights and access to various benefits offered to health workers in government


Upcoming events

International Day of the Midwife
5 May
International Nurses Day - "Closing the Gap: From Evidence to Action"
12 May
Global Business Coalition "GBCHealth Conference"
14 - 15 May
38th G8 Summit, Camp David, Maryland, USA
18 - 19 May
The 2012 Geneva Seminar: "Working for the United Nations in Health"
20 - 23 May
World Health Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland
21 - 26 May

Alliance activities and events at WHA
  • 22 May - Preview of Alliance strategy for the second phase (2013-2015), UN, Geneva
  • 23 May – Launch and panel discussion of the Alliance Private Sector Taskforce Report - Health Workforce Innovation: Accelerating Private Sector Responses to the Human Resources for Health Crisis, UN, Geneva
  • 24 May - Health Worker Innovation Awards, UN, Geneva
Global Health Evidence Summit on Community and Formal Health System Support for Enhanced Community Health Worker Performance, Washington DC
31 May – 1 June
More events

New resources

Building an Effective Workforce: A Systematic Review of Public Health Workforce Literature
Article published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Public Health Workforce Research in Review : A 25-Year Retrospective
Article published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Community-driven interventions can revolutionise control of neglected tropical diseases
Article published in “Trends in Parasitology”
The effects of midwives' job satisfaction on burnout, intention to quit and turnover: a longitudinal study in Senegal
Article published in Human Resources for Health 2012
Information systems on human resources for health: a global review
Article published in Human Resources for Health 2012
Estudio comparativo de las condiciones de trabajo y salud de los trabajadores de la salud en: Argentina, Brasil, Costa Rica y Perú.
New publication PAHO
⇒ The HRH Global Resource Center launched a Policy Advocacy Subject Guide
Visit the Knowledge Centre


Animation by Wemos Foundation

Health Unlimited / Grenzeloos Gezond (2012)
This animation is part of Anke Tijtsma's TED-talk at TEDxMaastricht 2012

Carolyn Miller, Chief Executive of Merlin
Health care in danger: talk by Carolyn Miller, Chief Executive, Merlin

Dr Unni Karunakara, President, MSF International
Health care in danger: talk by Dr Unni Karunakara, President, MSF International

Merlin's Head of Emergencies Nigel Young

Merlin responds in west Africa


Alliance YouTube Playlist on health workforce crisis

Alliance web site features

Health workers save lives. Immunizations save lives.
Health workers contributing towards safety and health in a “green” economy.
Ageing populationsStrengthened health workforce a prerequisite for ageing populations

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