Overview of Human Resources for Health Projection Models

One of the important decisions we had to make when designing our iHRIS Plan workforce modeling software was which HRH projection model to use as the foundation for the software. We even held a workshop with workforce planning experts from all over the world to discuss this critical issue.

The purpose of workforce planning is to determine the most appropriate balance among the mix, distribution and number of health workers. A new technical brief by HRIS strengthening team member Dr. Pamela McQuide provides a review of different workforce planning approaches and models used to project the workforce. We think this brief is essential reading before getting started with a program like iHRIS Plan.

This brief discusses six different HRH projection approaches, based on a review of the current literature. Although the main unit of analysis in these approaches is the number of health care providers, the method chosen to estimate human resources requirements reflects the political and economic choices and social values of a health system. A list of references serves as a guide for those who would like more information on this subject.

The Capacity Project's invaluable library of human resources for health information, the HRH Global Resource Center, provides even more resources on workforce planning. These include the publications Health Human Resources Planning from the International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing; Forecasting the Global Shortage of Physicians: An Economic- and Needs-Based Approach; and Monitoring the Health Workforce: Measurement Issues and Tools.