14th Alliance Board meeting successfully concludes with unanimous endorsement and launch of new strategy for the Alliance
Tunis, 04 July 2012 – At a high level reception held yesterday in Tunis, the Global health Workforce Alliance (the Alliance) officially launched its strategy – “Advancing the health workforce agenda within universal health Coverage”, for the second phase (2013–2016). The strategy was endorsed and adopted at the 14th Alliance Board meeting on 2 July.
The ceremony was attended by some 200 distinguished guests, including senior WHO representatives - Dr Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO; Dr Luis Sambo WHO Regional Director for AFRO region and Dr A. Alwan, WHO Regional Director, EMRO region. Over 30 Ministers of Health and Finance from the African continent were also in attendance, together with heads of agencies and senior representatives from development partners and international organizations. The evening programme was dedicated to presenting a summary of the strategy and sharing experiences and challenges in support for HRH development.
Presided over by Mr Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank, and moderated by Dr Mubashar Sheikh, Executive Director of the Alliance, the launch event featured several high-level speakers, including: H.E. Dr Henry Madzorera, Minister for Health, Zimbabwe; H.E. Dr Majozi Sithole, Minister of Finance, Swaziland and Dr Toure, Director of Health Systems Strengthening, WHO, African region. Dr Eric Buch, Dean of the University of Pretoria and Board member of the Alliance, presented highlights of the new strategy. Dr Miriam Were, from the Alliance Board, delivered the vote of thanks.
The President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, underscored the importance of investment in the health workforce as a most critical component of health systems. He recommended closer partnership between ministries of health and finance, expressing the wish that the joint ministerial conference convened by the Harmonization for Health in Africa (4-5 July) initiative would contribute to that objective.
Mr Kaberuka emphasized the need for national leadership in priority setting for greater self-reliance of African countries. “We need to plan carefully for our human resources for health, rationalizing our investments, and allocating our resources equitably and where they can have the greatest impact.” – he said. Furthermore he stressed the importance of collaboration and coordination among all sectors, including health, finance, water, education, labour, as well as other constituencies (including civil society and private sector) towards achieving better health outcomes.
Dr Henry Madzorera, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Health, emphasized HRH as the most critical building block of health system strengthening and highlighted the positive role of support provided by the Alliance to foster policy dialogue according to inclusive country coordination and facilitation principles in his country. He pledged support to Alliance endeavours during the second phase of its work.
Swaziland’s Minister of Finance Dr Majozi Sithole emphasized that investment in HRH is joint priority of the Ministry of Health and Finance, and suggested the need to rationalize use of scarce resources, including through South-South exchanges.
Dr Eric Buch, Board member of the Alliance, highlighted the salient features of the new strategy and sought leadership and commitment from countries for its effective implementation.
WHO/Afro Health Systems Strengthening Director, Dr Toure, pledged support for HRH and the objectives envisaged in the new Alliance strategy in support of countries’ actions to strengthen their health workforce, as part of their wider health system strengthening efforts.
Building on the widespread commitment to HRH that it helped generate, the Alliance will continue, in its second phase of work, to remain a an influential and credible platform in anticipating, responding to and monitoring key developments and challenges in the evolving HRH environment.
The new strategy outlines three core objectives:
- advancing the HRH agenda through advocacy;
- catalysing actions; and
- promoting results and accountability.
A distinctive feature of the strategy is an enhanced partnership model, which will provide an enabling environment for members and other stakeholders to engage in policy, governance and implementation issues that contribute to HRH development and lead to measurable results at country level.
The finalization of the new strategy has been a participatory process. Building on the findings of an independent external evaluation, a draft of the strategy was developed and made available to members for comments from 22 May. The consultation took place over the following few weeks, and the comments received were reflected into what now serves as the formal strategy.
We’d like to thank our members, partners and other HRH stakeholders for the overwhelming responses received and for contributing valuable thoughts and suggestions. We count on your commitment and support for its successful implementation. A full edited version of the strategy and a gallery of photos will be made available shortly.