CapacityPlus Concludes With Final Event and Release of Legacy Publications

CapacityPlus celebrated six years of achievements in assisting partner countries to strengthen human resources for health (HRH) during a well-attended end-of-project event on September 17 in Arlington, Virginia. 

Offering state-of-the-art HRH expertise, approaches, and tools, CapacityPlus supported 28 countries to address barriers to attaining the health workforce needed to achieve national goals and to contribute to the goals of priority global initiatives to improve health outcomes:
  • The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)’s work toward achieving an AIDS-Free Generation
  • USAID’s Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths (EPCMD) action plan to save the lives of 15 million children and nearly 600,000 women by 2020
  • The Family Planning (FP) 2020 global partnership’s efforts to enable 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020.
Cover final reportHighlights of CapacityPlus’s achievements toward the goals of these initiatives—and the priorities of USAID Missions and partner countries—include the following, which are described more fully in the project’s final report and legacy series of technical briefs:
  • Supporting more than 50 health professional schools in 12 African countries to strengthen health workforce education and school management, contributing to over 9,000 new health workers and building the capacity of these schools to continue scaling up production of graduates and improving the efficiency and quality of their programs. 
  • Building the evidence base for the importance of human resources management (HRM) and leadership; a compelling case study is the Dominican Republic, which implemented a comprehensive program of HRM strengthening that demonstrates how such an effort can contribute to long-term policy improvements, cost savings, and increased accessibility and use of HIV/AIDS, family planning, and other key services. 
  • Expanding use of the open source human resources information systems platform, iHRIS, to enable countries to use data to make decisions to more effectively recruit and deploy health workers for increased access to services and to track health worker qualifications and education pipelines; the iHRIS software is now used in 20 countries to manage almost a million health worker records at a potential cost savings of over $275 million when compared to commercial software. 
  • Building the capacity of national HRH leaders and managers in Uganda, Laos, and Malawi to use the project’s retention and productivity tools to generate evidence and inform decisions to influence policy-making and improve the availability of services through increased staffing and distribution. 
  • Raising awareness of the need to professionalize under-recognized cadres of health workers who play essential roles in well-functioning health systems, including contributing to the launch of global coalitions and tools to strengthen and support the supply chain and social service workforces. 
  • Improving HRH measurement and monitoring and evaluation capacity at the country level and developing an HRH Effort Index for national and subnational application to spur policy changes and enable cross-country comparisons.
  • Developing learning tools to address the challenges of gender inequalities and discrimination in the health workforce and health professional education systems and promote gender-transformative principles in advocacy, policy-making, and program implementation. 
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