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COVID-19 Human Resources for Health Learning Exchange

About the Learning Exchange – This activity has concluded

Health care systems have had to urgently develop contingency plans to address a surge in critically ill patients and health care workers becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2. This has resulted in shifts like redeploying providers to new roles in order to support the COVID-19 response, the need to develop new standard operating procedures, and issues of providing mental, physical, and economic support. The HRH exchange sought to provide a forum for shared lessons in order to build resilient and flexible workforces that valued both health care workers and their patients.


Learning Exchange Objectives
  • Build a network of practitioners and policymakers who can support one another in their Human Resources for Health COVID-19 response
  • Identify the most pressing priorities in Human Resources for Health that can be addressed through collaborative learning and global exchange
  • Share, discuss, and improve COVID-19 HRH knowledge, protocols, and strategies to implement and adapt to the local context throughout the course of the pandemic



The facilitation team solicited rankings of priority topics within HRH via a modified eDelphi approach with two rounds of surveys in order to focus on the areas most important to the participants. The following two topics were prioritized to be the sub-working groups of the HRH exchange:

  • Assessing and mobilizing health workforce capacity: Expanding scope of practice through task sharing/shifting and modifying scope of practice laws
  • Training and motivating the health workforce: Developing and implementing standard operating procedures and training manuals


Learning agenda and what was covered

Using a mix of live sessions via Zoom and asynchronous exchanges via Padlet and MyJLN, the facilitation team supported the country participants in the sharing of best practices and resources and facilitated robust discussion around adapting and implementing these best practices for continued COVID-19 response. Each group centered on joint learning as a core value and sought to enable community building and direct idea exchange among country partners. Questions that supported these discussions were:

  • What is the current status of HRH (workforce capacity or training/motivation) in your system?
  • What has been your biggest challenge in (workforce capacity or training/motivation) during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • What has been your country or institution’s approach to the problem?
  • Discuss strengths/weaknesses of country promising practices
  • What has contributed to strategies being successful/effective?
    • Name contextual factors, inputs, implementation strategies, desired outcomes
  • What are potential barriers to implementing the promising practice?

Participating Countries

  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Lao PDR
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • Uganda


  • Abiyu Nigussie, Ethiopia
  • Afeez Lawal, Nigeria
  • Aileen Espina, Philippines
  • Ajantha A/p Segarmurthy, Malaysia
  • Alvaro Alonso-Garbayo, WHO Syria
  • Anisa Omar, Kenya
  • Danny Gotto, Uganda
  • Francis Ayomoh, Nigeria
  • Francis Nwachukwu Ukwuije, Nigeria
  • Hassan Semlali, Morocco
  • Isaac Morrison, Ghana
  • Ketkesone Phrasisombath, Lao PDR
  • Khin Thu Htet, Myanmar
  • May Thwel Hla Shwe, Myanmar
  • Momodou Cham, Ghana
  • Naeem Majeed, Pakistan
  • Sudip Ale Magar, Nepal
  • Tafadzwa Ngorima, South Africa
  • Victoria Twum, Ghana

Technical Facilitators

June-Ho Kim, MD MPH

Lisa Hirschhorn, MD, MPH

Julia Ah-Reum An, MD, MPH

Mary Brindle, MD, MPH

Anna Kennedy

Kaeng Takahashi

Jane Kavanagh

Co-developed resources and shared learnings from this team: