Currently, at least 130 million people in the Region lack access to one or more essential health services, and many more lack access to quality care. A key contributing factor is the shortage, maldistribution and uneven performance of health workers. Health needs are also changing as populations' age and non-communicable diseases increase, and this has major implications for planning and managing the current and future health workforce. The overall objective of the Department of Health Systems Development is to strengthen health systems in order to make progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). UHC is a flagship priority of the Regional Office, and will be central to progress on the Sustainable Development Goal for Health. Health services cannot be delivered without health workers, and SEAR has committed to a Decade of Strengthening Human Resources for Health 2015-24, with a focus on transformative education and retention.
Within the Department, the responsibilities of the unit of Human Resources for Health are to support the 11 countries in the South-East Asia Region on HRH through
- supporting the monitoring and analysis of health workforce needs, based on: improved quality, completeness and timeliness of HRH data, including on production, numbers, distribution and retention of health workers, and analysis of skill mix and competencies required to meet current and future health service needs;
- supporting development and implementation of national strategic plans for Human Resources for Health that take account of labour market dynamics, are based on best available evidence, and are designed to support progress towards Universal Health Coverage in WHO SEAR countries;
- supporting review and reform of health workforce education and training to adapt to health needs of today and tomorrow;
- supporting policies to address health workforce migration, retention, and performance, especially in rural and hard-to-reach areas;
- catalysing research on HRH, in relevant collaborative programmes in WHO SEAR;
- building partnerships and networks, for example, Asia Pacific Observatory for health systems and policies, AAAH, SEARAME, SEAPHEIN, as well as partnerships with bilateral and multilateral agencies.
DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES
Under the overall guidance of Director, Programme Management and supervision of Director, Health Systems Development, the incumbent will:
- Lead the development and implementation of the Region's programme of work on HRH, within the context of the Regional strategy on health system strengthening for UHC; the Decade of HRH strengthening in SEAR, and relevant global HRH strategies and priorities.
- Maintain up to date intelligence on health workforce strengthening developments at country level as well as regional trends in HRH, with a focus on key trends in transformative education; health workforce retention and migration; improved HRH governance and data.
- Provide technical advice and support to national authorities as requested to a) ensure HRH development in accordance with health service requirements and overall health sector priorities and plans, based on best available evidence, and to b) strengthen health workforce governance, including health workforce policy and strategy; regulations and incentives, and engagement with other parts of government involved in HRH development, deployment and retention.
- Support improvements in national HRH information systems to generate quality HRH data to monitor progress on HRH, for national, regional and global reporting needs.
- Strengthen the regional HRH evidence base, through regional research networks such as AAAH, and the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, and international development agencies working on HRH.
- Work with WHO colleagues in HQ on the development of high quality HRH tools and guidelines, and provide guidance on the relevance and use of those in SEAR countries; work with colleagues in other units and departments in the Regional Office on cross-cutting health workforce development issues.
- Facilitate relevant multi-country activities (MCAs) to develop capacity in priority HRH areas, by interaction with WHO country offices and national counterparts
- Collaborate with, and promote, effective partnership between regional health professional regulatory bodies & professional associations, and among international development agencies active in HRH.
- Ensure accountability for the programme of work on HRH, including producing high quality technical reports as needed for WHO Governing Bodies; managing HRH unit staff & resources, in conjunction with Director HSD.
- Perform other relevant functions as required by Director HSD.
Essential: University Degree in medicine, public health, social or management science from a recognized university. Postgraduate degree in public health; health systems; health workforce development; health economics; health administration or health service management
Desirable: Doctorate in health system management; public health, political science. Professional qualification in health workforce education or management.
Essential: At least ten years relevant experience in human resources for health development - health workforce policy analysis, planning, management, monitoring and research; in providing policy advice on HRH development in accordance with current and future health service requirements, and in advising on effective approaches to different dimensions of HRH institutional capacity development, including considerable experience obtained in an international context.
Desirable: Experience in Asia in health system development with a focus on HRH a strong asset. Knowledge and experience of WHO and the UN system, and of other major stakeholders and international agencies an asset.
Expert and up-to-date knowledge and skills in human resources for health policy, planning, transformative education, management, retention and HR information development and use; substantial knowledge of public health and health systems, with an in-depth knowledge of the relationship between human resources and the development of health systems for universal health coverage in different political and economic contexts; familiarity with concepts and methods of research in HRH, and skills in synthesizing the latest evidence in HRH policy and practice; programme management skills in WHO.
- Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
- Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
- Producing results
Use of Language Skills: Expert knowledge of English.