Health workforce Information Reference Group Meeting, 10-12 March 2010, Montreux, Switzerland

A two and a half day meeting was held from 10-12 March, 2010 in Montreux, Switzerland, at the invitation of the Department of Human Resources for Health, World Health Organization, the Global Health Workforce Alliance (the Alliance) and the Health Metrics Network, who have jointly called for the establishment of a Health workforce Information Reference Group (HIRG).

The aim of this meeting was to initiate discussion on how to promote a coordinated, harmonised and standardised approach to strengthening the global evidence base on human resources for health, with the ultimate aim of strengthening country health workforce information and monitoring systems.

The meeting brought together eighteen participants from Brazil, Kenya, Malawi, Philippines, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and USA representing Ministries of Health, Universities, Global Initiatives and Partnerships, UN-Organizations and the Alliance Secretariat.

Over the two and half days, the meeting concentrated on building on lessons learned in order to strengthen health workforce information systems, focussing on the validity and use of different data sources, the challenges of information systems strengthening from governance, human resource capacity and technical perspectives as well as mapping key stakeholders in health workforce information.

The results and subsequent ideas emanating from presentations, discussion and group works were used to reach consensus on the terms of reference for the group and its membership and agree on an action plan of work for the HIRG for 2010 and beyond. The plan aims to take forward the initial ideas generated at this meeting into more substantive outputs which can be used to disseminate, engage and advocate with key stakeholders at country, regional and international level.

Key activities this year will focus on:

  • stakeholder mapping and analysis;
  • collating, analysing, strengthening and disseminating guidance, tools, standards, best practice and lessons learned;
  • identifying and prioritising gaps for developing tools and commissioning research; and
  • facilitating technical assistance to countries.

The HIRG Secretariat will ensure effective communication between members and monitor implementation of the agreed action plan.

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