Uganda Ministry of Health Takes Next Steps with HRH Retention Strategy

Stakeholders from the Uganda Ministry of Health (MOH), universities, faith-based organizations, and other partners participated in meetings in July led by CapacityPlus staff member Wanda Jaskiewicz. They discussed and planned for field testing of a rapid rural retention assessment tool and a retention strategy costing tool.

CapacityPlus is developing the rapid retention survey tool using discrete choice experiment (DCE) methodology and the tool to cost the resulting interventions identified by health worker preferences revealed in the survey, in order to reduce reliance on external technical assistance and allow HR managers to assess and provide evidence for decision-makers around retention and motivation issues. 
The retention costing tool will assist the MOH to determine the costs associated with implementation of the MOH retention and motivation strategy developed in 2008 and to present the costs at the Joint Review Meeting between the MOH and donor/partners in October. CapacityPlus will assist the MOH and interested faith-based organizations to conduct a step-by-step process to obtain health worker preferences in order to better prioritize and bundle the menu of options presented in the MOH retention and motivation strategy. CapacityPlus will build HR managers' capacity to use the costing tool to cost out the identified priority packages. Next the HR managers (with hands-on coaching) will cost out any of the other retention interventions from the overall strategy in which they may be interested. 
The MOH identified doctors, nurses and midwives, pharmacists, and laboratory technicians as the four priority cadres to focus on in the first phase of retention activities. The DCE survey will be applied to university students in these four groups at Makerere, Mbarara, Gulu, and Kampala International universities to assess preferences for attraction to rural areas. A sample of doctors and nurse/midwives in rural districts around Mbarara and Gulu will be surveyed to assess motivation preferences for retention in rural areas. Application of the survey will take place at the end of August and the costing capacity-building exercise.