Human Resources for Health (HRH) Global Resource Center Releases Health Worker Policy Advocacy Collection

The HRH Global Resource Center (GRC) recently launched a collection of policy advocacy materials for health-sector leaders seeking to bring institutional policy changes to health workforce issues. This is an important and often under-recognized component of addressing the global health workforce crisis.

According to the GRC’s Policy Advocacy Subject Guide, policy advocacy is a complex process aimed at changing the policies, positions, or programs of any type of institution. Successful campaigns usually entail “framing the issue or problem; creating urgency among policy makers; proposing policy alternatives or solutions; making moral arguments; recruiting leaders, champions and spokespeople; developing compelling communications; building coalitions; and mobilizing resources.”

IntraHealth’s experience with policy advocacy includes partnering with governments, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and other organizations to foster policies that protect health workers or empower them to better serve their communities. Examples include Rwanda’s first national palliative care policy, which, through formal regulatory and training mechanisms, grants health workers the ability to access and administer pain medication to patients as part of end-of-life care; a WHO resolution to formally document attacks against health workers, facilities, and patients in situations of armed conflict; and authorization and training of auxiliary nurse midwives (matrones) to perform active management of the third stage of labor, including administering uterotonic drugs, to prevent postpartum hemorrhage in Mali.

In addition to the subject guide, which introduces key policy advocacy issues and a list of recommended resources, the new collection includes:

  • The HRH Policy Advocacy Leaders in Action interview series. In the first installment, GRC staff speaks with Mary Beth Powers, head of Save the Children’s newborn and child survival campaign, for her insights on HRH policy advocacy and how she’s raising awareness of the global shortage of frontline health workers, as well as effective channels to communicate with policy decision-makers.

The HRH Global Resource Center is CapacityPlus’s digital library devoted to human resources for health. The library currently has 3,053 resources, and more than 97,000 users on average access the website every month.