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      Development assistance for human resources for health, 1990–2020

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          Abstract

          Background

          Investing in the health workforce is key to achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. However, achieving these Goals requires addressing a projected global shortage of 18 million health workers (mostly in low- and middle-income countries). Within that context, in 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030. In the Strategy, the role of official development assistance to support the health workforce is an area of interest. The objective of this study is to examine progress on implementing the Global Strategy by updating previous analyses that estimated and examined official development assistance targeted towards human resources for health.

          Methods

          We leveraged data from IHME’s Development Assistance for Health database, COVID development assistance database and the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System online database. We utilized an updated keyword list to identify the relevant human resources for health-related activities from the project databases. When possible, we also estimated the fraction of human resources for health projects that considered and/or focused on gender as a key factor. We described trends, examined changes in the availability of human resources for health-related development assistance since the adoption of the Global Strategy and compared disease burden and availability of donor resources.

          Results

          Since 2016, development assistance for human resources for health has increased with a slight dip in 2019. In 2020, fueled by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it reached an all-time high of $4.1 billion, more than double its value in 2016 and a 116.5% increase over 2019. The highest share (42.4%) of support for human resources for health-related activities has been directed towards training. Since the adoption of the Global Strategy, donor resources for health workforce-related activities have on average increased by 13.3% compared to 16.0% from 2000 through 2015. For 47 countries identified by the WHO as having severe workforce shortages, the availability of donor resources remains modest.

          Conclusions

          Since 2016, donor support for health workforce-related activities has increased. However, there are lingering concerns related to the short-term nature of activities that donor funding supports and its viability for creating sustainable health systems.

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12960-022-00744-x.

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          Most cited references12

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          Global Health Workforce Labor Market Projections for 2030

          Background In low- and middle-income countries, scaling essential health interventions to achieve health development targets is constrained by the lack of skilled health professionals to deliver services. Methods We take a labor market approach to project future health workforce demand based on an economic model based on projected economic growth, demographics, and health coverage, and using health workforce data (1990–2013) for 165 countries from the WHO Global Health Observatory. The demand projections are compared with the projected growth in health worker supply and the health worker “needs” as estimated by WHO to achieve essential health coverage. Results The model predicts that, by 2030, global demand for health workers will rise to 80 million workers, double the current (2013) stock of health workers, while the supply of health workers is expected to reach 65 million over the same period, resulting in a worldwide net shortage of 15 million health workers. Growth in the demand for health workers will be highest among upper middle-income countries, driven by economic and population growth and aging. This results in the largest predicted shortages which may fuel global competition for skilled health workers. Middle-income countries will face workforce shortages because their demand will exceed supply. By contrast, low-income countries will face low growth in both demand and supply, which are estimated to be far below what will be needed to achieve adequate coverage of essential health services. Conclusions In many low-income countries, demand may stay below projected supply, leading to the paradoxical phenomenon of unemployed (“surplus”) health workers in those countries facing acute “needs-based” shortages. Opportunities exist to bend the trajectory of the number and types of health workers that are available to meet public health goals and the growing demand for health workers. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12960-017-0187-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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            Global Fund investments in human resources for health: innovation and missed opportunities for health systems strengthening.

            Since the early 2000s, there have been large increases in donor financing of human resources for health (HRH), yet few studies have examined their effects on health systems. To determine the scope and impact of investments in HRH by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), the largest investor in HRH outside national governments. We used mixed research methodology to analyse budget allocations and expenditures for HRH, including training, for 138 countries receiving money from the Global Fund during funding rounds 1-7. From these aggregate figures, we then identified 27 countries with the largest funding for human resources and training and examined all HRH-related performance indicators tracked in Global Fund grant reports. We used the results of these quantitative analyses to select six countries with substantial funding and varied characteristics-representing different regions and income levels for further in-depth study: Bangladesh (South and West Asia, low income), Ethiopia (Eastern Africa, low income), Honduras (Latin America, lower-middle income), Indonesia (South and West Asia, lower-middle income), Malawi (Southern Africa, low income) and Ukraine (Eastern Europe and Central Asia, upper-middle income). We used qualitative methods to gather information in each of the six countries through 159 interviews with key informants from 83 organizations. Using comparative case-study analysis, we examined Global Fund's interactions with other donors, as well as its HRH support and co-ordination within national health systems. Around US$1.4 billion (23% of total US$5.1 billion) of grant funding was allocated to HRH by the 138 Global Fund recipient countries. In funding rounds 1-7, the six countries we studied in detail were awarded a total of 47 grants amounting to US$1.2 billion and HRH budgets of US$276 million, of which approximately half were invested in disease-focused in-service and short-term training activities. Countries employed a variety of mechanisms including salary top-ups, performance incentives, extra compensation and contracting of workers for part-time work, to pay health workers using Global Fund financing. Global Fund support for training and salary support was not co-ordinated with national strategic plans and there were major deficiencies in the data collected by the Global Fund to track HRH financing and to provide meaningful assessments of health system performance. The narrow disease focus and lack of co-ordination with national governments call into question the efficiency of funding and sustainability of Global Fund investments in HRH and their effectiveness in strengthening recipient countries' health systems. The lessons that emerge from this analysis can be used by both the Global Fund and other donors to improve co-ordination of investments and the effectiveness of programmes in recipient countries. Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine © The Author 2013; all rights reserved.
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              Information systems on human resources for health: a global review

              Background Although attainment of the health-related Millennium Development Goals relies on countries having adequate numbers of human resources for health (HRH) and their appropriate distribution, global understanding of the systems used to generate information for monitoring HRH stock and flows, known as human resources information systems (HRIS), is minimal. While HRIS are increasingly recognized as integral to health system performance assessment, baseline information regarding their scope and capability around the world has been limited. We conducted a review of the available literature on HRIS implementation processes in order to draw this baseline. Methods Our systematic search initially retrieved 11 923 articles in four languages published in peer-reviewed and grey literature. Following the selection of those articles which detailed HRIS implementation processes, reviews of their contents were conducted using two-person teams, each assigned to a national system. A data abstraction tool was developed and used to facilitate objective assessment. Results Ninety-five articles with relevant HRIS information were reviewed, mostly from the grey literature, which comprised 84 % of all documents. The articles represented 63 national HRIS and two regionally integrated systems. Whereas a high percentage of countries reported the capability to generate workforce supply and deployment data, few systems were documented as being used for HRH planning and decision-making. Of the systems examined, only 23 % explicitly stated they collect data on workforce attrition. The majority of countries experiencing crisis levels of HRH shortages (56 %) did not report data on health worker qualifications or professional credentialing as part of their HRIS. Conclusion Although HRIS are critical for evidence-based human resource policy and practice, there is a dearth of information about these systems, including their current capabilities. The absence of standardized HRIS profiles (including documented processes for data collection, management, and use) limits understanding of the availability and quality of information that can be used to support effective and efficient HRH strategies and investments at the national, regional, and global levels.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                amicah@uw.edu
                Journal
                Hum Resour Health
                Hum Resour Health
                Human Resources for Health
                BioMed Central (London )
                1478-4491
                10 June 2022
                10 June 2022
                2022
                : 20
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.458416.a, ISNI 0000 0004 0448 3644, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Population Health Building/Hans Rosling Center, ; 3980 15th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98195 USA
                [2 ]GRID grid.34477.33, ISNI 0000000122986657, Department of Health Metrics Sciences, , University of Washington, ; Seattle, WA 98195 USA
                [3 ]GRID grid.4991.5, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8948, Nuffield Department of Medicine, , University of Oxford, ; Oxford, OX3 0JE UK
                Article
                744
                10.1186/s12960-022-00744-x
                9187148
                e46e6647-2f35-49fe-84c3-87c6cb0380bd
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000865, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation;
                Categories
                Research
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Health & Social care
                development assistance for human resources for health,global strategy for human resources for health,donor support,health workforce

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