The World Health Organization (WHO) is inviting authors to submit papers to a special theme issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization on health workforce retention in rural and remote areas. While much is known about factors that influence health worker migration, less is known about workable solutions for retention, and this special issue of the WHO Bulletin seeks to explore this topic. Papers should expand the current knowledge of the challenges involved in the retention of health workers in rural and remote areas, including the costs of implementing retention strategies and incentive schemes, and how context influences the planning, implementation, and effects of various strategies. Papers discussing sustainability are also encouraged, in particular, innovative methodological papers dealing with the monitoring and evaluation of retention strategies.
Publication is planned for the spring of 2010; the deadline for submission is October 1, 2009.
A call for research proposals focused on incentives to attract and retain qualified health workers to underserved areas within low and middle income countries has been issued by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research and the Human Resources for Health Department of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) is an international collaboration, based at WHO headquarters in Geneva, which aims to promote the generation and use of health policy and systems research as a means to improve the health systems of developing countries. The Human Resources for Health Department at WHO helps build and strengthen stewardship capacity to develop and implement health workforce policies, strengthens institutional capacity to develop and ensure quality and adequate quantity of health workforce production, and manages knowledge regarding health workforce development.
The Alliance for HPSR and WHO are eager to support pragmatic and policy-oriented research that addresses gaps in the existing evidence base. This call for proposals is open both to studies that aim to understand better the factors behind health workers’ choice of practice location as well as studies that aim to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of interventions to encourage health workers to work in underserved areas. Evaluations that assess the impact of interventions addressing health worker location could examine outcomes in terms of health worker density, but also quality and service coverage.
John Boulet, Ph.D., FAIMER Director of Research and Data Resources, participated in the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored meeting on strengthening educational capacity in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in five African countries (SEDCAP), May 29-31, 2006, in Gaborone, Botswana. In addition to Dr. Boulet, Professor Sam Luboga (WHO Uganda) and Dr. Dan Kayongo (University of Transkei, South Africa), both former FAIMER Institute Fellows, were in attendance.
The goal of SEDCAP is to strengthen the human and institutional resources of schools of health professionals in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda. By doing this, their graduates will be better equipped to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS.
Hosted by the Department of Nursing Education of the University of Botswana, WHO Collaborating Centre, the event attracted more than 60 attendees, including deans and members of the faculty development committees in the project countries, WHO staff, partners, and donor organizations. Presentations were made to familiarize all participants with the educational capacity and performance needs of the local African institutions, and small group discussions were held aimed at delimiting the relevant local educational challenges and developing specific needs assessment measurement tools. On the final day, country teams were formed and asked to devise country-specific action plans. These detailed plans will be used to initiate the second phase of the SEDCAP project.