IntraHealth Continues Human Resources for Health Work in Kenya and Tanzania through New Projects

Through the Capacity Project, a USAID-funded initiative, IntraHealth has been working in Kenya and Tanzania to improve their capacity in human resources for health (HRH). Two USAID associate awards—Capacity Kenya and the Tanzania Human Resource Capacity Project—will allow IntraHealth to build upon the successes of the Capacity Project.

In Kenya, the Capacity Project put several programs into effect, including the Emergency Hiring Plan, a workplace climate improvement (WCI) initiative, and the development of a human resource information system (HRIS). Capacity Kenya will continue to roll out the HRIS and further expand the WCI’s work on retaining health care workers in rural areas. The new project will also strengthen HRH strategies and policies, as well as address the knowledge and skills needed by health workers at all levels, for improved health service delivery, especially at the community level, with emphasis on HIV, family planning, reproductive health, maternal and child health, malaria and tuberculosis.  

A group of Kenyan stakeholders went on three study tours to India, Malawi and Ethiopia, to learn about community health worker management, and Kenya Capacity will apply these findings in working with Kenyan community health workers (CHWs). The project will assist the Ministry of Health to develop CHW standards, guidelines and practices and will work with health sector leaders and stakeholders to determine creative and pragmatic approaches to planning, developing, regulating, compensating, supporting and managing these cadres.

The Capacity Project in Tanzania piloted an HRIS in Zanzibar and developed a Human Resources Management toolkit. The new Tanzania Human Resource Capacity Project will use the toolkit with other district directors to perform a needs assessment, identify any HRH shortfalls and develop an action plan to address them. The piloted HRIS will be implemented at the district level and in partnership with faith-based organizations and the Christian Social Services Commission. The project will work with University of Dar el Salaam to develop their capacity to provide technical and management support to ensure sustainability of the system.

The new project will also work on an initiative to address an HRH shortfall at the community level to meet the needs of most vulnerable children (MVCs). Part of this initiative will include training a new cadre of community workers linked to Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The community workers will begin as volunteers; after they’re trained and gain work experience, it is anticipated that they will be integrated into the government services.

A launch ceremony was held for Capacity Kenya on June 30. The Tanzania Human Resource Capacity Project will launch later this summer.