Monitoring and Evaluation

How CapacityPlus Is Helping Countries Improve Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Workforce Activities

This post was originally published on the Global Health Workforce Alliance Members’ Platform. We encourage you to join and contribute to discussions like this one.

In the field of human resources for health (HRH), access to reliable data and information is vital to make well-informed decisions. Dr. Eddie Mukooyo, assistant commissioner of health services in Uganda, expresses that need as well as the challenges he is facing to access reliable information. Read more »

The Human Side of HIV/AIDS

Carie MuntiferingIn the closing ceremony of the International AIDS Conference last week, Nancy Pelosi quoted George Bernard Shaw stating, “It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.” Pelosi went on to say that she believes everyone in the room was moved throughout the week by statistics but that we were also moved by stories. I couldn’t agree more.

I had never attended the International AIDS Conference before this year but I have been to many other conferences and I am used to attending sessions that describe public health issues in terms of multivariate analyses and odds ratios. Don’t get me wrong, as a researcher by training I get very excited by p-values less than 0.05, but to keep my interest I also need to feel connected, inspired, and guided by the human side of public health. This is exactly what the International AIDS Conference delivered. Presentations ranged from statistically savvy to emotionally charged and nearly every session included a mix of researchers, program implementers, activists, community leaders, and civil society members, creating a holistic view of HIV/AIDS and the challenges we must overcome if we are going to turn the tide. Read more »

Hitting the (Super) Target: Shopping for Tools for Health System Success

Tool [noun]: Anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose1 [emphasis added].
Crystal Ng
At any particular moment, there are likely dozens of international health professionals working on the development or revision of tools, ranging from assessment questions to frameworks and diagrams to software. Think of international health as a Super Target that offers resources for nearly every question you can imagine. When provided the opportunity, we can shop for potential resources manufactured by various organizations, but these resources only become tools when we take the products off the shelf and actually put them into use. Read more »

A Head Start on Measuring Health Workforce Progress

Lindsay BonannoWhile in a small clinic deep in a rural village, I study a register and see a lot of blank boxes that should contain data. I ask the data clerk why there is so much empty space. She shrugs and meekly explains that she didn’t know how to fill out the specific information. As I talk her through the indicators, I cannot help but think of the need for accessible resources to help people like the data clerk understand what to measure and how. 

Sometimes monitoring and evaluating a program can be concrete. In a service delivery project, for instance, the metrics are usually concrete (did the person receive the medication or not?). Indicators for measuring progress in human resources for health (HRH), however, can seem pretty complex. For example, how do you wrap your mind around increased leadership accountability? Metrics for HRH aren’t as well-known or haven’t received the same level of consensus as have those for other public health areas.

But just as we need to measure progress in service delivery, so too must we find a way to define and show our gains in health workforce strengthening, both for assessing the work and for demonstrating accountability to our donors and stakeholders. Read more »

Showing Results in Health Workforce Strengthening

Crystal NgOpportunities to spend time with monitoring and evaluation (M&E) colleagues from other organizations are infrequent, yet they provide a valuable way to share knowledge and ideas. Recently, I attended a meeting of the USAID Bureau of Global Health Cooperating Agencies’ M&E Working Group. The meeting convened two USAID deputy assistant administrators, senior leadership from several Bureau of Global Health offices, and dozens of M&E staff from USAID-funded projects.

The meeting's objectives were to share updates on the Global Health Initiative (GHI) and the GHI’s best practices strategy (BEST) to discuss M&E technical issues. Not only was I impressed with the active participation of USAID leadership and their emphasis on the need for research and evaluation, but I was also interested to hear their views on the role of human resources for health (HRH) and M&E in implementing the GHI. Here’s what I took away from the day. Read more »

A World of Difference: Global Health on I Street and in India

As the daughter of a diplomat, my life has been characterized by an endless cascade of people, places, opportunities, experiences, and contrasts. The theme of my past two summers has been global health, but my current internship working in monitoring and evaluation at CapacityPlus is almost the antithesis of my volunteer work in a rural eye hospital in India last year.

Two very different summers
Although I shiver in the hyperactively air-conditioned Washington DC office, I enjoy my own cubicle complete with a laptop and phone and big swirling chair, and I appreciate immensely the opportunity to interact with colleagues who’ve led incredible lives. I take lots of notes, work on compiling an indicator compendium to measure the state of human resources for health, and am starting to learn how global health is affected on a policy level. Read more »

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