Forum themes and programme

The Forum comes at a critical juncture, and represents an important opportunity to reposition human resources for health (HRH) issues in the context of the post-2015 development agenda and the political endorsement of universal health coverage (UHC). Much has been achieved in recent years in terms of identifying what needs to be done and how best to carry this out. Therefore, the Forum provides a unique opportunity for the global community to take stock of this progress and share innovative HRH solutions for UHC. It also aims at generating the political will to implement national and global HRH commitments.

The structure of the Forum includes high level, roundtables centering on key HRH subthemes. There will be six roundtables in total, four of which are immediately followed by five parallel track sessions, which explore specific aspects of this subtheme in more depth. The programme was developed through a consultative process. It is the result of several rounds of discussions with various members of the Global Health Workforce Alliance as well as other organizations and HRH stakeholders including nongovernmental organizations, bilateral and multi-lateral agencies, civil society, professional associations, academia and others

A more detailed programme is available on the right hand column, but here is a glimpse:

Opening Roundtable

Health workers and health goals -what can be learned from a decade of action on HRH with respect to efforts to achieve the health-related MDGs as well as other important national and global health goals? Are we on the right track towards UHC?


Matching health workforce production to population needs and expectations: do we have the right quantities, qualities and skill mix to move health systems faster towards UHC?

Related track sessions

  • Planning and forecasting health workforce requirements for UHC
  • Multisectoral partnerships, investment and policy dialogue towards strategic HRH decision making
  • Towards sustainability in financing HRH: macroeconomic policies and the role of external aid
  • Transforming and scaling up health professional education and training
  • Applying a labour market lens to HRH


Special focus on regulation


Social needs and the regulatory role of the State

Related track sessions

  • Comparative analysis of regulatory frameworks
  • Cultivating excellence: regulation of the institutions in charge of education and training of health workers
  • Professional autonomy and social expectations
  • Building collaborations and synergies between health professions: practice within full scope of education and training
  • The balancing act of regulating HRH migration


Deployment, retention and management: sustaining a high performing workforce in the stride towards UHC

Related track sessions

  • Performing models for health workforce deployment and management
  • Harnessing the potential of public, private and not-forprofit institutions interaction to advance HRH
  • Measuring health workforce performance
  • Integrated service delivery models: implications on human resources for health
  • Innovations in HRH information systems


Empowerment and incentives: harnessing health workers’ voice, rights and responsibilities in moving towards UHC

Related track sessions

  • Health workers’ role in shaping policies
  • The roles and responsibilities of trade unions in advancing the agenda towards UHC
  • Promoting and managing diversity of health workers for UHC
  • Security, safety, wellbeing and motivation of health workers in difficult contexts
  • A health workforce responding to citizens’ rights and expectations: paving the way towards UHC

Closing roundtable

Looking towards 2030 -what is the agenda to make sure the health workforce is the vanguard for UHC?


A session on Commitments will take place throughout the Forum where Forum participants and countries will be invited to share their commitments. A process on presenting commitments is currently under discussion and will be available shortly.

Special events

The programme also features a number of special events –

  • Launch of WHO Guidelines on Transformative Education for health
  • Launch of HRH report - A universal truth: no health without a workforce
  • Launch of a report on mid level health workers - Moving towards universal health coverage by optimizing skills mix: effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of community-based and mid-level health workers
  • Launch of WHO Bulletin HRH theme issue