The Global Health Workforce Alliance e-Newsletter

    January - March 2012


Dear members and partners of the Global Health Workforce Alliance,

As you know 2011 represented an important milestone for us, as it was the fifth year since the launch of the Alliance. With the objectives of reflecting on the first five years of its existence and strengthening its work in the next phase, the Alliance Board commissioned an external evaluation that was concluded last December. The evaluation report was presented to the Alliance Board in a retreat that took place on February 14 and 15, and whose purpose was to lay the foundations for the development of a new strategy for the years to come.

The process for developing the new strategy will unfold over the next 2-3 months, and there will be opportunities for members and partners to take part in a participatory process to provide inputs and suggestions into the new strategy (the precise details and timeframe for this will be communicated to you over the coming weeks).

I am confident that as a result of this process the Alliance can emerge with an even stronger resolve and clearer strategic focus. We hope you will be able to take part in this process, and we look forward to continue working with you to ensure that we make steady progress to advocate and catalyze global and country actions to resolve the human resources for health crisis.

Read the full message by the Alliance Executive Director

Dr Mubashar Sheikh

Version française
Versión en español



University of Canberra

The University of Canberra – Global Pharmacy Support Workforce Survey

The University of Canberra, Australia would like to invite all Alliance members to participate in the 2012 Global Pharmacy Support Workforce Review for Non-Pharmacist Roles.

Efficacious and accessible medications are integral to the health care system. To efficiently procure, transport, store and supply medications it is essential that workers are adequately trained. In low income countries, the shortage of pharmacists has required other health workers to have extended responsibilities. In developed countries pharmacists working with capable support staff have more time for clinical activities. 

This survey will examine the size and variety of roles in the Pharmacy Support Workforce, including the expected responsibilities, education/training requirements, accreditation and registration. The results of this survey will be made freely available through publication, serving as an adjunct to the International Pharmaceutical Federations 2012 Global Pharmacy Workforce Report.
Click here for more information, background documents, contacts and links to the survey.


HealthSpace.AsiaNew online collaborative health development platform for Asia: HealthSpace.Asia (HSA) network

HealthSpace.Asia (HSA) is a collaborative research and policy development platform for inclusive health development in Asia. It aims to foster collaborative actions among existing networks, policy makers and researchers with interest in health policy and research.

HealthSpace.Asia was launched in January 2012 at a special session of the Prince Mahidol Award Conference. Initiated as a follow up activity of the Lancet Series, Southeast Asia in April of 2011, it has gone through a soft launch phase where health experts, policy makers, activists and sponsors built the community and started using it to share knowledge and debates.

The platform offers useful tools for online collaboration, including a discussion forum , events calendar and web conference. It is linked to all major social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo, and has all the functionalities necessary for sharing resources, posts and other information.

Using collaborating tools to foster greater participation in the development of health policies, including human resources for health, the Alliance fully supports the HSA initiative and invites all Alliance members to join the HSA community.  Further information can be found at:


Irish Forum for Global Health (IFGH) 2012Health workforce shortage focus of high level Irish Conference

The recently concluded Irish Forum for Global Health (IFGH) recognized the critical shortage of skilled health personnel as one of the greatest challenges facing global health today. The two day conference provided an opportunity to renew efforts towards getting knowledge on the health workforce into policy and practice for achievement of the MDGs and future global health goals.

Held at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the conference built on a one-day symposium and learning event hosted by Dublin City University in October 2011 and reflected on experiences and lessons learned from research and practice by Irish and international practitioners, NGOs, researchers, government agencies and the private sector. 
Read more

squares3    HIGHLIGHTS

ICM Standards multi-stakeholder meeting: MAP OF PARTNER RELATIONSHIPSICM Global Standards: essential to a universally agreed basic standard of midwifery education

Alliance partner the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) brought together key actors in the field of midwifery education, regulation and association from 19-20 January in The Hague, Netherlands. The objectives were to sensitise partners on the recently completed midwifery global standards on education, regulation and essential competencies, and to discuss strategies for dissemination and implementation at country level.
Read more


World Health Organization Regional Office for EuropeHealth 2020, a written consultation of the WHO European Regional Office

At the sixtieth session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, Member States and partners gave WHO/Europe a strong, clear mandate to develop the new European health policy -  Health 2020, to accelerate progress towards achieving the European Region’s health potential by 2020. Its purpose is to strengthen health systems, revitalize public health infrastructures and institutions, engage the public and a range of health actors, and develop coherent, evidence-based policies solutions capable of tackling health threats and sustaining improvements over time.

The WHO regional office for Europe is now inviting NGOs to participate in a consultation process which will inform the new European policy for health. Three documents are now available for a written consultation:
  • the short Health 2020 policy document, which contains the key evidence, arguments and areas for policy action in the Health 2020 Policy Framework addressing the public health challenges and opportunities for promoting health and well-being in the European Region.
  • the longer Health 2020 policy framework, which provides the contextual analysis and the main strategies and interventions that work to implement the Health 2020 policy; and
  • the European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services, which is also a central arm for implementation of Health 2020.
Read more


Alliance Statement at Bundestag Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Health in Developing Countries - Code of Practice and what high income countries can do

In Berlin, at a hearing of Bundestag parliamentary sub-committee on health in developing countries on 27 January 2012 the Alliance issued a statement on the Code of Practice for the international recruitment of health personnel /migration Priority actions for developed countries such as Germany were highlighted, such as domestic policies of member states, disciplining international recruitment of health personnel according to ethical principles, avoiding recruitment from countries facing critical shortages and striving for self-sufficiency in terms of the production of sufficient numbers of health personnel.


Second Global Symposium on Health Systems ResearchThe Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research will take place from 31 October-3 November 2012 in Beijing, People's Republic of China.  The Symposium will focus on the science to accelerate universal health coverage around the world, covering three main themes of: Knowledge Translation; State-of-the-Art Health Systems Research; and Health Systems Research Methodologies.

There will also be three cross-cutting themes:
  • Innovations in Health Systems Research;
  • Neglected Priorities or Populations in Health Systems Research; and
  • Financing and Capacity Building for Health Systems Research.
In this regard there has been a call for session proposal and individual abstracts.
For more information and to submit session proposals and individual abstracts, please visit the Symposium web site.

Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative

Reviving the HWAI network

Members of the Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative (HWAI) convened in Geneva on Feb 23-24 for a strategic planning meeting on advocacy to renew HWAI with the facilitation of the new secretariat WEMOS. The structure of the HWAI – including its objectives, membership, steering committee composition and cooperation between members was addressed. It also provided the opportunity for dialogue between the Alliance, the HWAI secretariat and HWAI members – and solicited feedback from participants on how they could contribute to get the best out of the network. Members of the group debated on future advocacy topics and interventions needed to make a difference in field of human resources for health (HRH).

A report of the meeting is currently being prepared and will be made available shortly.
Read more


Global Health Workforce AllianceAlliance Member's e-Platform

The Alliance will soon deploy a new exclusive online tool for its members to connect to each other. The e-Platform will serve as an effective networking opportunity for members to communicate, learn, exchange, debate, brainstorm and share latest knowledge, resources and experience, etc. It will provide a number of tools designed to foster cross sector, country and regions exchange on HRH and is intended as a collaborative way to inform and guide the work of the Alliance members and secretariat.


World Health OrganizationWorld Health Organization Executive Board Meeting

At its Executive Board Meeting on 21 January 2012 the World Health Organization recommended to the sixty-fifth World Health Assembly that it adopt a resolution focused on growing health demands in humanitarian emergencies. It further calls on Member States and donors to allocate resources for health sector activities during such emergencies, while ensuring activities are carried out in consultation with the country concerned. It also aims to strengthen national level risk management, health emergency preparedness and build the capacity of national authorities to manage the recovery processes together with longer term health system strengthening and reforms.
Read more


London's Big Ben TowerThe All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Health

The Alliance Executive Director will engage in a consultation at the APPG on Global Health in the month of March. The APPG discusses two topics per year in order to help raise the profile of these issues in the UK Parliament and with the UK Government. The first topic that will be under review is innovative skill mixing in the health workforce - in particular, looking 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.
Read more about the APPG


squares4    MEMBERS' CORNER

GHAWA's project offered training to 472 attendees since September 2011Tanzania Program Launched by the Global Health Alliance Western Australia

The Global Health Alliance Western Australia (GHAWA) is a strategic partnership for transcultural health improvement, including a specific intent to assist developing countries in promoting maternal and child health through enhanced capability and capacity in the nursing and midwifery workforce. In May last year, GHAWA received a significant grant from the Australian Commonwealth international aid and development agency – AusAID, allowing them to develop and begin to roll out an exciting program of education and training for midwifes in Tanzania.
Read more about the objective and the progress of the programme


squares4    HRH IN THE PRESS

New approach to education and training published - Department of Health UK - New policy framework for a new approach to workforce planning and the education and training of the health workforce.
Zambian Patriotic Front (PF) government should address the plight of health workers - Zambian Watchdog - To lessen attrition from the public health sector workforce and the negative effects of the shortage of health workers, we need to address the causes of public health workers’ dissatisfaction and to identify both financial and non-financial factors that influence their choices to migrate.
Care drain [migration of health workers] threatens needy countries - - Switzerland is facing a dearth of health workers, but nothing like the shortages in developing countries where doctors and nurses have left for better opportunities.
Breakthrough In Saving Lives In Rural Africa - By Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University; author, 'The Price of Civilization'
Union urges Spanish doctors to report effects of budget cuts on patient care - British Medical Journal - The regional health department in Catalonia has launched an inquiry after one of its public hospitals, which is under private management, rented out theatre space so that a patient could have a private operation after cuts to the region’s health budget as part of austerity measures.
Africa urged to copy healthcare models - Lord Crisp (Alliance Champion), a british independent member of parliament has praised Africans for solving African problems themselves, saying they should also opt for the successful healthcare models of other countries.
The Impact of the crisis on nurses and nursing: new evidence from EFN - European Public Health Alliance - In some European countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, very low paid nursing jobs have increased nurses' mobility and this is resulting in a 'brain drain' effect of the health workforce.

Upcoming event

24 March 2012 - World TB Day
March 2012 - The Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health Policy Summit, London, UK
7 April - World Health Day 2012: "Ageing and health"
18 - 20 April - Geneva Health Forum
More events

New resources

A survey of Sub-Saharan African medical schools
Article published in Human Resources for Health online journal, 2012
24 February 2012
Human resources for health care delivery in Tanzania: a multifaceted problem
Article published in Human Resources for Health online journal, 2012
22 February 2012
An analysis of GAVI, the Global Fund and World Bank support for human resources for health in developing countries
Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
13 February 2012
Using staffing ratios for workforce planning: evidence on nine allied health professions
Article published in the Human Resources for Health journal
1 February 2012
Masters Nursing Students' Perceptions of an Innovative Simulation Education Experience
Article Published by Elsevier Inc.
18 January 2012
Stemming the Brain Drain - A WHO Global Code of Practice on International Recruitment of Health Personnel
Article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, 2011
21 December 2011
The human resource for health situation in Zambia: deficit and maldistribution
Article published in the Human Resources for Health journal
19 December 2011
Visit the Knowledge Centre

New Members

Asia Cancer Forum
The Asia Cancer Forum aim to place cancer on the global health agenda, based on the conviction that cancer is one of the largest common challenges for humanity and as such deserves a place on the global health agenda.
Suvadi (guarantee) Limited
"Suvadi" is a non-profit organization registered in Sri Lanka with a mission of promoting born-digital health education material production.
Global Doctors
Danish civil society organization aiming to put global health on the public agenda. with professional capacity development projects in Rwanda and Ethiopia.
African Development and Advocacy Centre, UK (AFRIDAC)
African Development and Advocacy Centre (AFRIDAC) work towards restoring the dignity and integrity of Africans in Africa and in the Diaspora by bringing about development in African societies.
Chronic Care Foundation India
Chronic Care Foundation focuses on increasing the capacity, efficiency, productivity, reach and quality of our entire health care system.
Civil Society Movement Against Tuberculosis-Sierra Leone (CISMAT-SL)
CISMAT-SL is an umbrella of Civil Society organisations across Sierra Leone including Community Based and Faith Based Organisations working on TB programmes and policies.
Visit the Alliance database of members


Midwifery Special:
Stories of Midwives
Stories of Midwives from White Ribbon Alliance.
Midwives Make Childbirth Safer in Ifugao, Philippines
Community Midwifery Takes Hold in Laos

Midwives and Imams Confront Rape in Mauritania

Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines
Midwives in South Sudan
Midwives Deliver Quality Health Services to Families in Uzbekistan


Alliance YouTube Playlist on health workforce crisis
Alliance on FacebookAlliance on TwitterAlliance on FlickrAlliance on YouTube


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