Farewell message from Dr Mubashar Sheikh

Dr Mubashar Sheikh

Dear colleagues,

After five truly enriching and rewarding years at the Global Health Workforce Alliance, I am excited to be turning a new page in my professional career. It has been an honor and privilege to have served as Executive Director of the Alliance where I have gained wisdom, knowledge and support from my team, colleagues, Board members, Alliance members, partners and countless others that I had the opportunity to work and interact with during my tenure. It is indeed with a heavy heart that I have to say goodbye.

The last few years were of critical importance in defining the HRH agenda and the Global Health Workforce Alliance has made a substantive contribution through its advocacy, brokering and convening functions at country, regional and global levels. Through our collective efforts, we strengthened our engagement with several HRH priority countries with the initiation and consolidation of the Country Coordination and Facilitation (CCF) process and Muskoka project; delivered on a number of high quality technical report, tools and guidelines; and through our advocacy and communication actions have come a long way in placing HRH higher on political discourses - at the G8s; UN Secretary Generals’ Strategy on Maternal and Child health; high- level outcome statements on HIV/AIDS and NCD; Family Planning 2020; Tunis Declaration and many others critical processes. It is reassuring to see the emerging evidence of HRH improvements. Several success stories exist of how many priority countries are working systematically towards overcoming their HRH challenges, and succeeding in doing so.

Along the way, an independent external evaluation was conducted (2011 – 2012) which found the Alliance mandate to be highly relevant, and its achievements to represent good value for money. This, together with other inputs, informed the development of the new strategy for the second phase of 2013-16 along with a clear sense of direction for the future and a more inclusive model of working together with our members and partners.

While drawing satisfaction from these efforts, the Alliance has to adequately prepare itself for a future that will throw open new challenges and opportunities. Like in the previous years, the Alliance will be required to show even greater belief in its mission by demonstrating measurable outcomes and results to justify the investments that are being extended by its partners. The Alliance must not lose sight of the unfinished health workforce agenda while remaining vigilant to the constantly evolving external environment. It must strive hard to earn the rightful position of HRH within the Universal Health Coverage framework and the post-2015 development agenda. It should ensure that the Third Global Forum on HRH becomes a turning point in attracting tangible and measurable commitments for defining an inclusive accountability framework for the years to come. For this, the Alliance board, its members and partners are required to advocate with HRH priority countries to make these bold, transformable actions. They must join, contribute and take part in the global HRH movement, “Health Workers Count” that the Alliance plans to launch later this month.

My team at the Secretariat has been indispensable – I can boast of a team that is immensely talented and dedicated. They need your continued recognition, now more than ever, to keep them motivated and empowered with the necessary policy and financial support.

Personally, it has been a real pleasure and privilege to be associated with such a dedicated and professional group of distinguished people at the global, regional and country level. I extend my heartfelt thanks for your support, commitment and cooperation. I look forward to our sustained partnership and collaboration in my new role as the UN Resident Coordinator in Kuwait. If you have the chance to pass through that country, please include me in your calendar of engagements.

I leave you with a last thought - Imagine, a health worker for everyone, everywhere! IMAGINE THAT!

Dr Mubashar Sheikh