Global CapacityPlus Project Builds Stronger Health Workforces in 28 Countries

During the past six years, the IntraHealth International-led global CapacityPlus project has helped 28 countries build the health workforces they need to improve health and well-being within their populations. Together, IntraHealth and our partners have worked to help these countries make progress toward their national health goals as well as those set by several global initiatives, including:

  • The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR’s) initiative to achieve an AIDS-free generation
  • The US Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths action plan to save the lives of 15 million children and nearly 600,000 women by 2020
  • The Family Planning 2020 global partnership’s efforts to enable 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020.

Through the USAID-supported project, IntraHealth and our CapacityPlus partners have worked side-by-side with country officials to strengthen human resources for health (HRH) in low- and middle-income countries by offering state-of-the-art technical expertise, approaches, and tools.

Full details of the project’s achievements are available in the final report and legacy series of technical briefs. Some highlights include: 

  • Worked with 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 produce more graduates and improve the efficiency and quality of their programs. 
  • Built the evidence base for 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 greater access to and use of key services, including for HIV/AIDS and family planning. 
  • Expanded the open source human resources information systems platform, iHRIS, to enable countries to use data to make decisions that more effectively recruit and deploy health workers, increase access to services, and track health worker qualifications and education pipelines. Twenty countries now use iHRIS to manage almost a million health worker records, a potential cost savings of over $275 million when compared to commercial software. 
  • Built 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, inform decisions, influence policy, and make services more widely available. 
  • Raised 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. 
  • Improved HRH measurement and monitoring and evaluation capacity at the country level and developed an HRH Effort Index for national and subnational application to spur policy changes and enable cross-country comparisons.
  • Developed learning tools to address gender inequalities and discrimination in the health workforce and health professional education systems and to promote gender-transformative principles in advocacy, policy-making, and program implementation. 

Also read: CapacityPlus Concludes With Final Event and Release of Legacy Publications