Thursday, September 15, 2016

16 September 2016: Human resources for health: “wicked” problems or misunderstood?

Kabir Sheikh
Public Health Foundation of India

India, like many other countries, struggles with governance of its human resources for health. It is common knowledge that there are too few qualified health workers, that they are too unequally distributed to serve population health goals, and that the quality of services they provide is troublingly inconsistent.  Inter-governmental bodies and national governments periodically rediscover these “wicked” problems and frequently advance previously attempted solutions - which often face failure, in repeating historical cycles of policy amnesia. 

With examples from the speaker’s research and experience of policy reforms of 15 years, this talk will outline the inadequacies of prevailing, largely instrumental approaches to governance of human resources for health, such as retention, substitution and assimilation. The talk will illustrate how deeper socio-political phenomena such as professional dominance, pluralism, parallel systems and regulatory capture have shaped the character and dynamics of the health workforce, rendering it resistant to common policy solutions.  The talk will conclude with instances of encouraging policy processes and political responses to health workforce problems, followed by a general discussion.

Date: September 16, 2016
Time: 03:30 P.M.

Conference Room
Centre for Policy Research,
Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi–110021(INDIA)


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