African Health Community Prioritizes HR Information Systems

The East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA) strives to strengthen human resources for health (HRH) to help member states achieve the Millennium Development Goals and other development targets. At ECSA’s recent Directors’ Joint Consultative Committee Meeting in Tanzania (September 4-7), Capacity Project staff presented on the Africa Health Workforce Observatory and highlighted examples from several countries developing human resources information systems (HRIS). Following this well-received presentation, a new draft of ECSA’s HRH strategy includes HRIS as one of four key components of HR management. ECSA also included HRIS among the recommendations for the upcoming health ministers meeting. This is in response to the identification of the lack of accurate, reliable HRIS for decision-making as one of the major HRH challenges among member countries. ECSA has set a goal to facilitate the establishment of new HRIS and health workforce observatories as well as the effective utilization of existing ones in order to strengthen use of reliable data for HRH decision-making in member countries.