Human Resources for Health in 2030 (HRH2030) is one of five winners of the 2020 Awards for Digital Development (Digis) by USAID. The Digis recognise and celebrate global USAID-funded projects and activities that use technology to sustain open, secure, and inclusive digital ecosystems and improve measurable development and humanitarian-assistance outcomes on a large scale.
Recognised for its work in Indonesia, HRH2030 is strengthening the information system for human resources for health (HRH) to provide real-time quality data, while also supporting the development of policies to address challenges in the health workforce. This includes improving the use of data to help the Ministry of Health optimise and equip the workforce to address health challenges.
Indonesia is rich in health data. According to a recent assessment, more than ten government agencies collect data on the country’s health workers. Indonesia’s Ministry of Health has seen the potential in all of that data and has set out to create a data analysis platform, with technical assistance from HRH2030.
The goal is to integrate internal and external data to track information that spans health workers’ lifecycles, from education through employment, and integration in the health community. This information will allow the government to better plan for and manage the health workforce.
Creating a fit-for-purpose and fit-for-practice health workforce means having health workers with the right skills available in the areas that need them the most.
“The human resources analytics platform harmonises and generates quality data from several sources and presents it in easy-to-use dashboards,” explains Stuardo Herrera, informatics technical advisor for HRH2030. “This gives policy-makers a bird’s eye view on the data so that they can make evidence-based decisions about the health worker’s production, availability, skill mix, and accessibility.”
Data Informing Action
The Government of Indonesia has committed to ending preventable maternal and child deaths and sustaining control over the HIV epidemic. But the country faces several health workforce challenges they must address, from inadequate human resources for health planning and management, to an insufficient skill mix within the existing workforce.
As the population continues to explode, Indonesia needs a fit-for-purpose, fit-for-practice health workforce to improve maternal and newborn health (MNH) and meet the government’s goals.
Human resources are an essential component for strengthening health systems and extending MNH services to rural, remote, and underserved communities. Complete, accurate, and up-to-date data on the number, production, and budget allocation of health workers are essential to optimise MNH outcomes. HRH2030 and the Ministry of Health prioritised data sources, indicators, and decision-support tools to improve MNH-focused health workers’ conditions.
According to Herrera, “It doesn’t matter how much data we have on human resources for health if we don’t use the data to inform decision-making. It’s essential to have reliable, up-to-date, complete, and quality health workforce data for planning and decision-making at the country level. The data produced by information systems should be used for more than just outputs. It should be used to take action.”
Taking Action on COVID-19
The Ministry of Health has put the data directly into action in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to investments in strengthening data, information systems, and overall capacity by HRH2030.
The national COVID-19 Task Force uses health workforce data and analytics from the human resource information system platform as part of the daily situational reports. These dashboards give decision-makers leading the COVID-19 response in the country access to critical information on health workers’ locations in relation to COVID-19 positive cases, district risk levels, and availability of infection prevention control material.
Herrera is proud of the team, the tool they’ve built, and their partnership with the Ministry of Health. “This award recognises the amazing and tireless work that the HRH2030 and the Board of Human Resources for Health Empowerment and Development team did to improve health workers’ policies producing better data to enhance evidence-based decision-making,” he says. “Now they know that we are developing a game-changing platform that will serve as an example for other countries that want to improve their HRH data use.”
Thanks to the partnership between HRH2030 and the Ministry of Health, Herrera is confident in the sustainability and viability of the platform moving forward.
“The Ministry of Health staff is now fully empowered to continue managing and expanding the platform even after the HRH2030 project ends.”
Human Resources for Health (HRH2030) is funded by USAID and implemented by a consortium. Palladium serves as the strategic partner for informatics activities.