Edited by: Mr Jim Campbell, Dr. Giorgio Cometto, Prof Mario Roberto Dal Poz
Human Resources for Health, in collaboration with the Global Health Workforce Alliance and the World Health Organization, is pleased to publish a new thematic series entitled “Investment in human resources for health: impact on health outcomes and beyond.
In spite of its central role in attaining health outcomes and its potential contributions to other development objectives, investment in health workforce is still largely perceived as a consumptive sector rather than a contributor to socio-economic development. Conversely, a health workforce discourse is starting to emerge on fostering synergies with the education sector, enhancing gender equality, inclusive societies, promoting the creation of decent employment opportunities and sustainable economic growth. The potential of human resources for health (HRH) investment to be a driver of broader socio-economic development is increasingly been recognized also in other sectors: the International Labour Office identifies health sector employment as one of the tracer indicators for the inter-agency Social Protection Floor Initiative. Trends relating to health workforce feminization are becoming apparent, opening an opportunity to examine health workforce investment as a driver of gender empowerment. Links between the health and education agendas have already been explored through landmark analyses. And ongoing research studies are starting to examine the link between health sector employment and economic growth.
But overall, while the evidence base for the effects of HRH investment on health outcomes is well established, the broader development impact of HRH investment is still poorly researched and documented.
This thematic series therefore seeks to expand the evidence base on effects of investment in human resources for health. Its findings will contribute to ongoing efforts to develop a Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030, to be considered by the World Health Assembly in May 2016. Topics included are related to the health and broader socio-economic impact of health workforce investments, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Contribution of health sector employment to the economic growth, gender empowerment and the wider education agenda;
- Effects of health workforce investment on health service coverage and health outcomes;
- Trends, composition and breakdown of investment in health workforce;
- Investment in HRH related to the health labour market conditions and available fiscal space;
- Investment in HRH compatible with the needs and implications of Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals;
- Political economy at national and global levels of HRH investments.