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Human Resources

Human Resources | Key Topics | Related Links | Document Library | Key Readings | Statistical Data | Glossary

This website is devoted to Human Resources in Health (HRH) and to understanding their critical contribution to health systems development. Indeed, any country, rich or poor, needs a well trained and motivated stock of health workers, sufficient in numbers, and well distributed -- geographically, and by type and level of services -- to ensure that its health care system is performing well. Few countries, however, can claim to have successfully met that need. Even among rich countries few, if any, have been able to recruit and train a work force that adequately matches the needs and expectations of their population, or have achieved a distribution of health personnel that guarantees an equitable access to health services.

In poor countries, it is now accepted that access to good quality services and protection against the impoverishing consequences of ill-health are strategically critical to poverty reduction efforts. This requires that well designed human resources policies are implemented to ensure that enough qualified personnel is available and prepared to deliver effective services. Many countries are experiencing difficulties in recruiting and in retaining good personnel. Just as debt alleviation programs are making new resources available to the health sector, numerous countries find that they do not have the personnel they need to put these resources to use. In Africa, the combined effects on the health work force of the AIDS epidemic and of emigration to western countries, are now considered as the main obstacle to health sector reform.

The above problems are among the most difficult that health planners and managers face. This website is designed to help users to better diagnose HRH problems and to have access to tools for designing interventions that will support their efforts to respond to them.

This website includes: 

  • Key topics in HRH - here is a conceptual framework to identify and analyze HRH issues. 
  • New and Events associated with HRH 
  • Statistical data on the health work force in various regions of the world. When available, historical trends and inter-country comparisons are included.
  • Selection of key readings on major HRH issues, such as planning of the work force, deployment, education and training, management of performance 
  • Document Library including complementary readings and bibliographies on specific HRH topics 
  • Glossary of commonly used terms
  • Links to related useful sites



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