The Capacity Project: final report
18 August 2011
Human resources for health (HRH) first attracted global attention when it became evident that the health workforce in the developing world was facing a crisis, and that this was affecting health service delivery and health outcomes. The Joint Learning Initiative on Human Resources for Health and Development (JLI), a consortium of more than 100 health leaders from around the world, undertook an exploration of the HRH landscape during 2002-2004 and identified three major aspects of an accelerating global HRH crisis: (i) the devastation of HIV/AIDS; (ii) an accelerated level of out-migration of health professionals from developing countries; and (iii) chronic underinvestment in human resources. The study concluded that “mobilization and strengthening of the health workforce is central to combating health crises in some of the world’s poorest countries and for building sustainable health systems.”
In September 2004, IntraHealth International began implementing a USAID-funded project to strengthen human capacity development within the health sector, later renamed the Capacity Project. The project was implemented in close partnership with six other global organizations (IMA World Health, Jhpiego, Liverpool Associates in Tropical Health, Management Sciences for Health, PATH, and Training Resources Group) and collaborated with numerous other global, regional and national organizations.
The Capacity Project strengthened human resources to implement quality health programming in
developing countries, focusing on:
1. Improving workforce planning and leadership to ensure that the right type and number of health workers are deployed to the right locations
2. Developing better education and training programs so that health workers have the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of their communities
3. Strengthening systems to support workforce performance and encourage workers to remain on the job.
The Project worked across sectors such as health, education, planning, public service commissions and local government entities to address the varied forces that affect the health workforce. By the close of the project in 2009, it had contributed to the growth of an HRH leadership cadre in sub-Saharan Africa through technical assistance that resulted in the implementation of country-level HRH action plans in Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda. Country-level technical assistance continued to support and build this network in eight countries.
The final project report outlines the main support activities undertaken by the project
partners, and highlights key lessons learned. The full text is available for download at the
project website, via the link below.