HRIS Workshops to Be Held in Washington, D.C., This Week

"Indeed, few countries in sub-Saharan Africa even know precisely how many health workers they have and where those workers are distributed. More than 40 percent of these countries lack data on how many community health workers operate within their borders, for instance. NGOs can help fill such information gaps. They should start by teaming up with the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA) and other multilateral groups to help answer, for example, basic questions about the distribution of human resources at the district level and the availability of infrastructure and medical supplies in rural areas. Current efforts to elicit this information should be expanded." - McKinsey Report: "Addressing Africa’s Health Workforce Crisis"

On Tuesday and Wednesday, December 11 and 12, the Capacity Project's HRIS Strengthening team is presenting a PEPFAR-funded workshop to launch a comprehensive human resource information system inventory project and begin building a community of practice. Fifty HRH informatics leaders from USAID, the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank and a wide variety of nongovernmental organizations, universities and regional representatives are gathering to seek better alignment, understanding and coordination of efforts to overcome the barriers to accurate and timely health worker information in countries around the world.

On Thursday and Friday, thirty of these leaders, representing every major contributor, past and present, in the field of international health workforce planning, are coming together to design the first user-friendly health workforce planning software, iHRIS Plan. Previous planning models over the last thirty years have only been available in cumbersome and notoriously difficult spreadsheets, only understood by expensive and difficult-to-hire consultants. IntraHealth’s team of Open Source software developers will be working with this group of experts to build truly usable, free and open software allowing countries to:

  • analyze their health workforce
  • project the workforce's growth or decline into the future
  • anticipate future workforce needs
  • and model interventions to close the gap between the two.

The input of these experts in HRIS and workforce planning should be invaluable in producing two worthwhile products: a database of HRIS strengthening activities going on in countries around the world, and easy-to-use modeling and planning software that we can distribute free to workforce planners in developing countries.