LSTM Home > LSTM Research > LSTM Online Archive

Using the integration of human resource management strategies at district level to improve workforce performance: analysis of workplan designs in three African countries

Martineau, Tim ORCID:, Mansour, Wesam, Dieleman, Marjolein, Akweongo, Patricia, Amon, Samuel, Chikaphupha, Kingsley, Mubiri, Paul and Raven, Joanna ORCID: (2023) 'Using the integration of human resource management strategies at district level to improve workforce performance: analysis of workplan designs in three African countries'. Human Resources for Health, Vol 21, Issue 1, p. 57.

12960_2023_Article_838.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


There is a worldwide shortage of health workers against WHO recommended staffing levels to achieve Universal Health Coverage. To improve the performance of the existing health workforce a set of integrated human resources (HR) strategies are needed to address the root causes of these shortages. The PERFORM2Scale project uses an action research approach to support district level management teams to develop appropriate workplans to address service delivery and workforce-related problems using a set of integrated human resources strategies. This paper provides evidence of the feasibility of supporting managers at district level to design appropriate integrated workplans to address these problems.

The study used content analysis of documents including problem trees and 43 workplans developed by 28 district health management teams (DHMT) across three countries between 2018 and 2021 to identify how appropriate basic planning principles and the use of integrated human resource and health systems strategies were used in the design of the workplans developed. Four categories of HR strategies were used for the analysis (availability, direction, competencies, rewards and sanctions) and the relationship between HR and wider health systems strategies was also examined.

About half (49%) of the DHMTs selected service-delivery problems while others selected workforce performance (46%) or general management (5%) problems, yet all workplans addressed health workforce-related causes through integrated workplans. Most DHMTs used a combination of strategies for improving direction and competencies. The use of strategies to improve availability and the use of rewards and sanctions was more common amongst DHMTs in Ghana; this may be related to availability of decision-space in these areas. Other planning considerations such as link between problem and strategy, inclusion of gender and use of indicators were evident in the design of the workplans.

The study has demonstrated that, with appropriate support using an action research approach, DHMTs are able to design workplans which include integrated HR strategies. This process will help districts to address workforce and other service delivery problems as well as improving ‘health workforce literacy' of DHMT members which will benefit the country more broadly if and when any of the team members is promoted.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WX Hospitals and Other Health Facilities > Hospital Administration > WX 162 Point-of-care. Patient care planning.
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2023 09:01
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2023 09:01


View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item