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Strengthening health district management competencies in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda: lessons from using action research to improve health workforce performance.

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Martineau, Tim ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4833-3149, Raven, Joanna ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4112-6959, Aikins, Moses, Alonso-Garbayo, Alvaro, Baine, Sebastian, Huss, Reinhard, Maluka, Stephen and Wyss, Kaspar (2018) 'Strengthening health district management competencies in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda: lessons from using action research to improve health workforce performance.'. BMJ Global Health, Vol 3, Issue 2, e000619.

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Abstract

To achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), more health workers are needed; also critical is supporting optimal performance of existing staff. Integrated human resource management (HRM) strategies, complemented by other health systems strategies, are needed to improve health workforce performance, which is possible at district level in decentralised contexts. To strengthen the capacity of district management teams to develop and implement workplans containing integrated strategies for workforce performance improvement, we introduced an action-research-based management strengthening intervention (MSI). This consisted of two workshops, follow-up by facilitators and meetings between participating districts. Although often used in the health sector, there is little evaluation of this approach in middle-income and low-income country contexts. The MSI was tested in three districts in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. This paper reports on the appropriateness of the MSI to the contexts and its effects. Documentary evidence (workshop reports, workplans, diaries, follow-up visit reports) was collected throughout the implementation of the MSI in each district and interviews (50) and focus-group discussions (6) were conducted with managers at the end of the MSI. The findings were analysed using Kirkpatrick's evaluation framework to identify effects at different levels. The MSI was appropriate to the needs and work patterns of District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) in all contexts. DHMT members improved management competencies for problem analysis, prioritisation and integrated HRM and health systems strategy development. They learnt how to refine plans as more information became available and the importance of monitoring implementation. The MSI produced changes in team behaviours and confidence. There were positive results regarding workforce performance or service delivery; these would increase with repetition of the MSI. The MSI is appropriate to the contexts where tested and can improve staff performance. However, for significant impact on service delivery and UHC, a method of scaling up and sustaining the MSI is required.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > Health Services. Patients and Patient Advocacy > W 84.4 Quality of Health Care
W General Medicine. Health Professions > Health Services. Patients and Patient Advocacy > W 84 Health services. Delivery of health care
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 525 General works
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 546 Local Health Administration. Community Health Services
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000619
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 02 May 2018 14:57
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 17:44
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/8551

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