In November 2017, the WHO’s Alliance for Health Policy & Systems Research came out with a reader on human resources for health. This effort was lead by Asha George and colleagues at the University of Western Cape in South Africa along with Kerry Scott and Veloshnee Govender. As editors, they brought several people together (including myself) to work on seven chapters that summarised current health policy and systems evidence base on what we called as a software components of human resources for health.
The underlying idea of this effort is that most text books in public health at the time were more focused on quantitative and econometric approaches at examining availability and quantifying performance of health workforce, when in fact there are fundamental problems related to motivation, workplace environment as well as structural policy issues at global, national and sub-national levels that are impacting the quality and performance of the health workforce. I worked on the chapter on building health worker capacity through training and supervision which also featured among other papers one of the experiences with respect to seeing how capacity building works or does not work in public service organisation settings that the Institute of Public Health Bengaluru was involved with in Tumkur district in southern Karnataka. Using a realist valuation approach, I had tried to understand what worked for whom and under what conditions and why, with respect to creating organisational change based on capacity building/trainign programs (see my earlier note on this).
I think it is based on this document that the WHO has now released titled Human Resources for Health leadership and management: a prototype curricula package. It’s a lovely resource that makes it possible to break up the content covered in the HRH reader and fit it into a Masters/fellowship course in a variety of public health/public policy disciplines.