A Growing Collection for a Growing Demand

Health workers in developing countries are hungry for information and online training opportunities in human resources for health (HRH), and IntraHealth International’s HRH Global Resource Center (GRC) is filling the order.

Fifteen-hundred users from 109 countries have now benefited from the eLearning training programs offered through the GRC, a digital library created in 2006 with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help health workers in developing countries find the best information available on HRH. And the GRC staff is working to offer even more training opportunities.

“We continually received feedback from users requesting more training resources, which is why we decided to launch the GRC eLearning program,” says Rebecca Rhodes, knowledge management and HRH Global Resource Center team lead for IntraHealth’s USAID-funded CapacityPlus project. “The response to the courses was beyond my expectations.”

The eLearning programs are just the latest adaptation in the evolution of the GRC, which has continually changed and grown for the past six years in response to user demand. The GRC team relentlessly monitors and evaluates the site to meet the specific needs of users around the world. Rhodes hunts down and adds high-quality resources, weeds out those that get poor user ratings, and conducts targeted searches for new resources on emerging topics.

In the newest issue of Knowledge Management for Development, an article by IntraHealth’s Corinne Farrell and Rhodes explores the ongoing process of tailoring the GRC’s collection and the various methods IntraHealth has used to monitor and evaluate its effectiveness.

Funding to conduct a full-fledged evaluation of a knowledge-management product such as the GRC is scarce, Farrell and Rhodes write in “Measuring the Success of the HRH Global Resource Center.” But Rhodes uses website statistics and qualitative interviews—and even analyzes every user email that comes through the site—to find out just how the GRC is used and how she can improve it.

“Making changes on a continuous basis—for example adding resources based on a specific user question—has been as important as making larger changes based on more in-depth assessment,” they write.

The GRC is the largest digital collection of its kind. It now offers more than 3,000 resources to users in almost every country—and the collection grows every day.

The global shortage of 4.3 million health workers means that many people do not have—and may never have—access to health care. “Addressing the HRH crisis is complex and knowledge intensive,” Farrell and Rhodes write. The GRC’s growing collection of eLearning programs and other resources will help more and more health workers improve health and well-being in their communities all over the world.

Corinne Farrell is senior manager of communications and knowledge management at IntraHealth. Rebecca Rhodes is knowledge management and HRH Global Resource Center team lead for CapacityPlus at IntraHealth. The HRH Global Resource Center is funded by USAID through CapacityPlus.

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