7th Asia Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health (AAAH) conference

7th AAAH conference

The Alliance participated at the recently concluded 7th AAAH Annual meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. The theme of the meeting focused on “Leadership Development for Health System Strengthening: A Focus on Human Resources for Health”.

One of the of the major constraints to achieving a well-functioning health system is a lack of leadership in building up sound Human Resources for Health (HRH): a core but neglected health system component. The 7th AAAH Annual Conference aimed to identify this knowledge gap by serving as a regional platform for countries in the Asia Pacific region to learn and share their experience with each other. The Conference touched on several relevant and critical issues including HRH information systems and evidence; community involvement in HRH development; monitoring and evaluation of in-country HRH planning and implementation; roles of the public and private sectors in HRH education and labour markets; HRH Financing and retention policies.

The Alliance was well represented at the Conference, taking part not only in the main conference sessions, but also teaming up with Alliance members to organize side sessions. Capacity Plus and the Alliance organized a side event on HRH productivity, where Capacityplus introduced the HRH productivity diagnostic improvement draft tool they are developing. The Alliance, along with WHO Pakistan, spoke of a joint initiative aiming at complementing medical education with holistic skills.

The Alliance presented at a plenary on Leadership Development and challenges for Health System where, along with colleague from WHO Pakistan, they spoke on the added value of the Country Coordination and Facilitation approach at country level and Post-Devolution Experience in Pakistan. The Alliance also presented on its efforts around global initiatives on Community Health Providers and Pakistan's experience of community support to lady health workers. Diverse models of HRH regional networks – was also a presentation. The Alliance briefed AAAH participants about the new strategy of the Alliance for the period of 2013-2016 and was also represented at the AAAH steering committee meeting, where we highlighted the 3rd Global Forum on Human Resources for Health and emphasized the importance of AAAH to channel the messages from the region to the conference.

The AAAH was established as an Asian HRH regional network in 2006. The number of participants to the annual conferences has risen from 50 in the early years to 250 in 2012. The AAAH is active and undertake regular HRH monitoring in its member countries, including the number of health workers, plans for UHC, HRH plans etc, which is published every year with the annual conference proceedings. They also provide support to country level HRH planning. The annual conferences are held with the support from the Alliance.