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About the Alliance

Health workers are the heart and soul of health systems. And yet, the world is faced with a chronic shortage. A new progress report- A Universal Truth: No Health Without a Workforce (2013),estimates a global shortage of 7.2 million health workers, with 83 countries facing a health worker crisis. The relative shortages of doctors, nurses and midwives are still most acute in sub‐ Saharan Africa. This is currently one of the major obstacles to achieving the MDGs and  other  international  health  goals  including  universal  health  coverage.

The Global Health Workforce Alliance (The Alliance) was created in 2006 as a common platform for action to address the crisis. The Alliance is a partnership of national governments, civil society, international agencies, finance institutions, researchers, educators and professional associations dedicated to identifying, implementing and advocating for solutions. Since its inception in 2006, the Alliance has acted as a global convener mobilizing worldwide attention to the human resources for health (HRH) crisis and generating political will and action for positive change.

To date, the Alliance has contributed significantly to a range of global, regional and national level initiatives and achievements. These include: expanding the Alliance membership to comprise and engage over 400+ organizations, multi-constituency in nature, with a stake in HRH; elevating HRH on various global agendas and in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) mandated program of work; facilitating policies and action by national governments to address HRH issues, and; demonstrating evidence that indicators of progress such as aggregate HRH density, coordinated and comprehensive HRH national planning, as well as illness and death rates in critical countries have been improving.Its added value lies in its mandate – to support, convene and harness the capacities of its global, regional and national partners and members, working across the multiple dimensions of HRH – whether in health, education, finance or labour sectors. This has enabled and will continue to enable a stronger, multi-sectoral focus on HRH within the global health agenda.

History & context

  • History
    The Alliance was launched in May 2006
  • Context
    The global health worker shortage affects everyone


  • Overview
    How the Alliance is run
  • Board
    The Board is the governing body of the Alliance and holds decision-making authority
  • Secretariat
    The Alliance Secretariat is hosted by WHO and carries out the day-to-day administration of the Alliance workplan
  • Reviews
    Reviews, assessments and evaluations of the Alliance

Alliance Champions

  • Alliance Champions
    Group of internationally renown personalities committed to highlighting the essential role of health workers.

Alliance Vision

Task Forces & Working Groups

  • Overview
    The Alliance convenes international Task Forces on key global challenge issues
  • Alliance supported initiatives
    The Alliance supports a number of key civil society initiatives towards resolving the crisis