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Global Health Workforce Network

G network providers

WHO is pleased to announce the launch of the Global Health Workforce Network, as requested by select Member States, building on a proposal by the Board of the Global Health Workforce Alliance. The May 2016 adoption of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 and the recommendations of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth are the foundation for an ambitious, forward-looking health workforce agenda to progress towards universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Network will operate within WHO as a global mechanism for stakeholder consultation, dialogue and coordination on comprehensive and coherent health workforce policies in support of the implementation of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health and the recommendations the Commission.

WHO will shortly appoint a 12 member multi-sectoral Strategic Advisory Committee, to provide strategic advice to the Network. As part of the transition process from the Global Health Workforce Alliance, David Weakliam (from Ireland, and formerly Chair of the GHWA Board), will serve as the chair of the Network for the first two years.

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  • GHWN: Questions and Answers



    To inform and maintain high-level political engagement in support of the implementation of the Global Strategy.


    To provide forum for multi-sector and multi stakeholder agenda setting, best practice sharing and harmonisation and alignment of international support to human resources for health (HRH).

    Effective implementation

    To foster global monitoring and mutual accountability on international HRH goals, targets and commitments.

    Activities and value added

    The activities of the Network will be aligned with the work of the Heath Data Collaborative (a new thematic Network facilitated by WHO) and recently launched UHC 2030 Alliance. Its activities will be fully complementary to the broader work of the WHO, providing it with a platform for enhanced collaboration and dialogue with the key technical agencies (e.g. ILO, UNESCO, WB) with a mandate that goes beyond the health sector focus of WHO. GHWN has a unique role, however, in driving forward the health workforce agenda through leveraging specific activities to which other institutions and constituencies bring expertise, mandate and funding. Its activities will focus mainly on inter-sectoral aspects (e.g. education or financing – necessary for effective delivery) and on the HRH information and evidence agenda (in recognition of the current fragmentation of initiatives and multiplicity of partners involved). The value added of the Network will maintain and improve momentum on health workforce issues as a priority global policy agenda item.

    The Network has established the following hubs:

    • Community-based health workers

    pdf, 153kb

  • Data & Evidence

    pdf, 399kb

  • Education

    pdf, 140kb

  • Health Labour Markets

    pdf, 110kb

  • HRH Leadership

    If you’re interested in learning more about or engaging in GHWN and/ or its thematic hubs , please write to us at [email protected] . The WHO reserves the right to manage representation and participation in the Network hubs, based on gender balance, geographical representation and appropriate size.

    Network action plan (2016-2018)

    The table below summarizes the priority deliverables and activities of the Network generated by a consultative process. It presents activities and outputs for the first two years (2016-2018), categorized according to the 4 strategic objectives of the Global Strategy on Human Resources of Health.

    Strategic objectives of the Global Strategy on HRH

    Strategic objective 1:

    To optimise performance, quality and impact of the health workforce through evidence-informed policies on human resources for health, contributing to healthy lives and well-being, effective universal health coverage, resilience and health security at all levels.

    Strategic objective 2:

    To align investment in human resources for health with the current and future needs of the population taking account of labour market dynamics, to enable maximum improvements in health outcomes, employment creation and economic growth.

    Strategic objective 3:

    To build the capacity of institutions at sub-national, national and international levels for effective leadership and governance of actions on human resources for health (HRH).

    Strategic objective 4:

    To strengthen data on human resources for health, for monitoring of and ensuring accountability for the implementation of both national strategies and the Global Strategy.

    Priority work streams for the first 2 years (2016-2018)

    1.Develop and promote competency and performance standards linking SDGs 3 (health well-being) and 4 (education and life-long learning):

    – develop competency framework(s) for technical and vocational education and training within countries;

    – inform global guidelines on community-based health workers and catalyse support for their implementation at country level

    2. Develop and promote standards to harmonise and align investments from Global Health Initiatives, multilateral, bilateral and other official development assistance (health, education, employment etc.) for health workforce development

    3.Develop and enable an accredited leadership programme on health workforce

    4.Promote alignment and adoption of National Health Workforce Accounts; linking with the Health Data Collaborative

    5.Promote inter-sectoral reporting on SDG Goal 3c with relevant stakeholders

    Competency framework (x 1) for country policy planning.

    Inter-agency adoption of WHO Guidelines for CBHWs informing country actions.

    Ex-ante impact assessment tool to guide country investments.

    Health workforce leadership programme for national stakeholders (progressing to accredited status)

    Scale-up of country activities on adoption and reporting of NHWA.

    SDG3c reporting process

    – Engage inter-sectoral stakeholders in a Strategic Advisory Committee and the work of the thematic hubs.

    – Develop and disseminate global public goods, engaging and informing members and stakeholders.

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