Strengthening Human Resources for Health and Implications for Pandemic Planning

Strengthening Human Resources for Health and
Implications for Pandemic Planning

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
April 13-23, 2021

Online Program

Application Deadline March 30, 2021

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How should we plan for human resources needs for epidemics and pandemics? How can pandemics like COVID-19 be included in strategic planning for HRH? How do we continue to prioritize human resources development in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals1  (SDGs) and achieving Universal Health Coverage2  (UHC)? This successful course is specifically designed to address the above questions by providing participants with new and innovative ways of addressing human resources policy and management issues. Individuals and country teams will learn from experts as well as peers from other nations and will develop their own draft country strategic plans for human resources as well as crisis management.

The SDG health objectives and UHC require a focus on human resources, critical to improving health outcomes for all–now even more complicated due to COVID and other outbreaks. A lack of human resources capacity is a major barrier to the achievement of these goals. Health officials in all countries need to recruit and retain skilled health workers at all levels. They also need to strengthen educational and management systems and to creatively finance all of the above.

This course has been designed to provide those working in the health sector with tools and skills to understand, assess and formulate strategies to improve human resources for health. Until recently human resources training has focused on personnel management and on static models of planning for the public sector. This course, however, has been formulated to incorporate new tools and skills to help you create innovative strategies in both the public and private sectors.

Specifically, participants attending this course will:

  • learn how to effectively assess the human resource situation in your country/area;
  • examine the financing, education and labor market for effective human resource strategies;
  • learn tools to develop human resources policies (pay for performance, strategic planning, priority setting);
  • apply human resource strategies to other system topics (UHC, quality, politics, etc.);
  • learn critical leadership, negotiation and conflict resolution strategies.

Course Topics:

  • COVID-19
  • Financing Assessment for Human Resources
  • Education Assessment for Human Resources
  • Management Capacity and Human Resources
  • Strategic Planning  and Human Resources
  • Health Status and Human Resources
  • Pay for Performance
  • Labor Market Approach
  • Leadership and Institutional Change
  • Conflict Resolution for Human Resources

Who Should Join
This eight-day (over two weeks) course is designed for individuals working in either the public or private sector who are managing and/or developing strategies and policies for human resources development.  We are seeking mid-level and senior-level participants working in the health sector.  Applicants from both government and non-governmental organizations will benefit from this course. We encourage participation by teams of participants who can work together in the course to develop draft strategic plans for their own organizations or countries.

Online Educational Approach
This interactive, online course offers a blend of theory and practice, geared to an audience focused upon implementation rather than research.  Included throughout the course are both prerecorded and synchronous lectures, polling, online Q&A, breakout groups, case studies, problem sets, and preparation of group and individual case presentations.  Virtual classroom points will most often be made through interactive learning methods, rather than through lectures. Facilitated online discussion among experienced participants is expected throughout. Participants are encouraged to have on hand their own country material and resources on health systems related to the process of human resources development and management; and useful in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

About the Course Directors
Dr. Thomas J. Bossert is director of the International Health Systems Program at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health as well as a Senior Lecturer on Health Policy in the Department of Global Health and Population.  He led the development of the Assessing Financing, Education, Management and Policy Context for Strategic Planning of Human Resources for Health for WHO and has taught courses on strategic planning in several countries for WHO and UNICEF.  Additionally, he has directed technical assistance projects and applied research in Latin America, Asia, and Africa on decentralization, institutional transformation, and health policy reform.

Dr. Diana Bowser has her primary academic appointment at Brandeis University as associate professor and is the Course Director for Global Executive Courses within the International Health Systems Program. She has 19 years of experience in health system analysis related to health economics, health policy, and using econometric methods to evaluate health system changes in Latin America, Africa, and the United States. She has provided technical assistance and conducted research with funding from USAID, DFID, WHO, the Global Fund, Save the Children, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IADB, NIH, and the World Bank. She has worked closely with the following governments on these policy issues: Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Namibia, Swaziland, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Ukraine, Kosovo, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.

1 World Health Organization, 2016,Health Workforce Requirements for Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Human Resources for Health Observer – Issue 17; Stenberg, K., Hanssen, O., Edejer, T.T., et al.

2 Financing Transformative Health Systems Towards Achievement of the Health Sustainable Development Goals: a Model for Projected Resource Needs in 67 Low-Income and Middle-income Countries. Lancet Global Health, 2017; 5(9): e875-e887. doi 10.1016/s2214-109x(17) 30263



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