Sources and classification of health workforce statistics
Health data sources
Routine administrative information systems
Depending on the country, routine health human resources information systems can draw on administrative records from a wide range of sources, such as registries on public expenditure, staffing and payroll as well as professional training, registration and licensure. They tend to be the main source of official statistics on health workers reported and used in national health sector plans and reviews. In some cases, data from administrative sources may be periodically supplemented or validated with information from other standard statistical sources (e.g. population- or facility-based assessment).
Health facility assessments
Health facility assessments can be conducted using different sampling approaches (establishment census or sample survey) and methodologies (self-administered postal, fax or internet-based questionnaire; or telephone or face-to-face interview). Depending on the nature of the data collection procedures and instruments, in-depth information can be obtained on specific health workforce variables, for instance, in-service training, support supervision, absenteeism and provider productivity. In addition, the nature of facility-based assessments facilitates the collection of data for numerous other indicators pertinent to health systems performance assessment, such as infrastructure, services offered, availability of supplies and costs.