Transformative Education
for Health Professionals

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GHWH Thematic Working Group 3. Education

Launching GHWH Thematic Working Group 3. Education


Health Workforce Data and Evidence Hub
Global Health Workforce Network


Target 3c of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to ‘substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries’. In particular, SDG 3c includes a specific indicator (3.c.1) on ‘Health workforce density and distribution’ calling for improved data on human resources for health.[1]

In May 2016 the World Health Assembly adopted the Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030[2] (GSHRH) by the resolution 69.19 urging all Member States: (i) “ to strengthen the data, evidence and knowledge” on health workforce ; (ii) “progressively implement the National Health Workforce Accounts (NHWA)” and; (iii) “report annually to the Global Health Observatory”. The GSHRH calls for strengthening HRH data across different dimensions described in the health labour market framework for UHC. NHWA is a system to strengthen Human Resources for Health Information Systems by which countries progressively improve the availability, quality, standardization, dissemination and use of health workforce data, through monitoring of a set of indicators, to support achievement of Universal Health Coverage, Sustainable Development Goals and other health objectives.

The UN High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth (ComHEEG), established by the United Nations Secretary-General in March 2016, recommends to ‘undertake robust research and analysis of health labour markets, using harmonized metrics and methodologies, to strengthen evidence, accountability and action’ with emphasis on Universal Health Coverage and  the SDG 2030 agenda. The ComHEEG also recommended the establishment of an inter-agency data platform on health labour market. [3] [4] In December 2016 the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution (A/RES/71/159) recalling the WHA resolution 69.19 and inviting ‘international, regional, national and local partners and stakeholders from the health sector and beyond to engage in and support the implementation of the Global Strategy on Human resources for Health, and achieve its milestones for 2020 and 2030’.

The above key frameworks and resolutions, as well as Dublin declaration on Human Resources for Health[5] and Tokyo Declaration on Universal Health Coverage[6], create a frame of policy guidance to strengthen health systems and data and evidence on human resources for health; to deliver Universal Health Coverage through investments in human capital; and to transforming and expanding the health and social care workforce. They also call for and support the establishment and/or strengthening of robust HWF information systems through the NHWA and other data collection and exchange mechanisms in order to monitor the implementation of the agenda 2030, in particular, the UHC, the SDG 3c and the key GSHRH milestones.


The function of the Global Health Workforce Network[7] is to promote the implementation of the Global Strategy’s vision to: “Accelerate progress towards universal health coverage and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by ensuring equitable access to health workers within strengthened health systems through inter-sectoral engagement”. In support of the GHWN’s vision, aims and objectives, the Data and Evidence Hub is established and conceptualised to function as a platform for exchange and coordination to strengthen HRH data and evidence for decision making; bringing together various stakeholders, networks and expertise to coordinate and enhance the work for data availability, quality, analysis, dissemination and use reported through  NHWA and other mechanisms; linking with the Health Data Collaborative (HDC); and to promote the intersectoral reporting on SDG 3c, particularly in low and middle income countries.


The objective of Data and Evidence Hub is to strengthen HRH information systems through bringing together the key actors around health workforce data to address the observed fragmentation of data and the multiplicity of uncoordinated initiatives on HWF.

The specific objectives of the GHWN Health Workforce Data and Evidence Hub are:

  • To serve as a platform for information exchange, and coordination and alignment of efforts around HRH between various organisations and actors;
  • To promote analysis, dissemination and use of sound HWF data and evidence for decision making;
  • To maintain a high level of focus on HRH data issues and to promote synergies and collaboration between members through e.g. research, information sharing, and capacity building efforts.

Modes of operation

The GHWN Health Workforce Data and Evidence Hub is an intersectoral inter-professional multi-stakeholder platform for coordination and exchange hosted by the Global Health Workforce Network aimed at engaging actors around HRH data. The Hub will position itself as an advisory network that facilitates knowledge generation and management for decision making and promotes the human resource for health agenda on national, regional and global levels.

The GHWN Health Workforce Data and Evidence Hub will operate through sub hubs which are organized by thematic working groups (TWG) as follows:

  • TWG 1. Methodology, tools, guidance and capacity building
  • TWG 2. Implementation and country support

TWG 3. Thematic research and analysis: Education

  • TWG 4. Thematic research and analysis: Labour market, planning and projections
  • TWG 5. Thematic research and analysis: Equity (gender, age, geographic distribution)

Each of the TWGs is headed by a technical lead. Technical leads will form Hub Secretariat along with the chair and the co-chair. Maintaining its coordination, facilitation and oversight role, The WHO is kindly offering to chair the Data and Evidence Hub Secretariat along with a co-chair from another agency.  The Secretariat acts as a convener of meetings and provides the Hub with secretariat support (drafting minutes of the meetings and other key documents, disseminating documentation, invitations, etc.).  It archives documents, knowledge products and any correspondence related to the Hub. The Secretariat also coordinates all requests for Hub membership. Email will be used for all correspondences (invitations to meetings and workshops, sharing minutes, reports and other documents) within the TWG.

The Hub will engage multi-stakeholder partners and networks, including individual experts, development partners, UN agencies, INGOs, NGOs, networks, observatories, academia and countries on a regular basis to share information and raise issues of common concern. It integrates but goes beyond the Health Data Collaborative network. The members are invited to participate on a voluntary basis and will represent various organizations, networks and mechanisms of different thematic and geographic scope and focus.

The ToRs, membership and modes of operation, will be reviewed and revised on a regular basis, taking into account evolving issues across the spectrum of HRH data. The GHWN has secured some fund to support hub activities; however the hub shall explore additional modes of funding to further finance its activities.


  • The GHWN Health Workforce Data and Evidence Hub cooperation cannot be prescriptive, as it is premised on voluntary engagement and peer support.  The Hub is a forum governed by the principle of consensus and it is respectful of differences regarding policy and modalities.  
  • Whenever felt to be appropriate, at the initiative of any Hub partner, these ToRs can be reviewed to ensure that the Hub remains meaningful and focused.

[2] World Health Organization 2016: Global strategy on human resources for health: workforce 2030, Geneva.

[3] World Health Organization 2016: Report of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, Geneva.

[4] World Health Organization 2017: “Working for Health”: A Five-Year Action Plan for Health Employment and Inclusive Economic Growth (2017–21), Geneva.

[5] Dublin Declaration on Human Resources for Health: Building the Health Workforce of the Future, Dublin 2017.

[6] Tokyo Declaration on Universal Health Coverage: All Together to Accelerate Progress towards UHC, Tokyo 2017.

[7] Global Health Workfoce Network Terms of Reference. Geneva, World Health Organization; 2016.