Strong management enhances healthcare delivery by increasing the productivity of existing resources and the agility of health systems as they adapt to challenges and capture opportunities
Human resources for health is one of the six health systems strengthening building blocks according to WHO. In any country, an increase in population size should be matched by an increase in the number of health workers joining the workforce. In most developing countries, the key factors that contribute to chronic shortage of health workers include: low ratio of health workforce to population; high population growth compared to the number of new health workers; and poor distribution of the few available health workers. A shortage in health workers directly contributes to lower quality health services and poor health outcomes.
In the private sector, there is considerable evidence showing that well-managed firms have higher productivity and greater ability to survive adverse conditions. These results apply across sectors and countries.
In global health, strong management is just as critical. It enhances healthcare delivery by increasing the productivity of existing resources and the agility of health systems as they adapt to challenges and capture opportunities. This is especially important at the front line, as the vast majority of healthcare managers in our focus geographies work at the district level and below, playing important roles in ensuring quality healthcare services to the end users.
Whilst there is marked management-capability gap at the front line few countries focus their programs for building management capacity there. In this regard, Captiva Africa LLC supports country Ministries of health and partners in:
There are a number of dimensions to HRH and Captiva’s areas of focus of Human Resources for Health are in the following:
Most public healthcare managers in Africa may not be adequately equipped to execute such key managerial responsibilities as supportive supervision, project management, performance management, managing staff motivation, poor attitudes and work ethic. For example, we have noted that healthcare staff are promoted into managerial ranks as a result of their technical expertise but end up spending most of their time managing people, projects and vested interests of different stakeholders. And yet staff development is skewed towards technical skills rather than managerial capacity.
In this regard we support clients conduct such key intervention activities as developing programs for training health workers in leadership, management and governance. And building capacity of community based organizations, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies in leadership, management and governance.
This has involved supporting clients optimize performance of human resources for health by scaling up courses for supportive supervision. Coaching supervision and developing and supporting implementation of continuous quality improvement programs for health. From our experience in HSS engagements across Africa, improving frontline management requires a coordinated approach comprising the following: