Case study: Identifying gaps in HR training and management in Tanzania
A new information collection tool helps identify short term training gaps and coverage needs for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and vaccination programs.
Health facilities in Tanzania regularly provide on-the-job training for health workers. However, the training reports are typically collected by different organizations – either by partner organizations or the Ministry of Health, at both lower and central levels. It is not always clear who has been trained, what they have been trained on, and where gaps exist, making it difficult to evaluate program needs and plan for the future.
Working with the Ministry of Health’s training department and the Reproductive and Child Health Section (RCHS), CHAI improved the Human Resources for Health Information System (HRHIS) which was developed in 2011 to manage health worker information across the country.
The system allows users to collect information on staff recruitment, formal education, distribution, retention, and retirement. Most importantly, it allows the ministry to analyze the data for easier planning and decision-making.
In 2018, CHAI, in collaboration with the ministry upgraded the system. We improved the in-service training module to enable it to capture more data about staff, provide robust analysis, and create reports to inform decision-making at all levels.
The new training module allows users to see the proportion of facilities with trained providers and lists which health workers have been trained in various curriculum courses and certified to provide services. The list is divided by cadres, facility type, facility ownership, and time frame. The system also now allows users to see what trainings have been conducted at national, regional, district, and facility levels.
Once the upgrade was complete, CHAI provided technical expertise and financial support to train users on the latest version of the system.
After the rollout of the on-the-job training module:
- The health information system was selected as the primary source of data for family planning training indicators for the National Costed Implementation Plan II for Tanzania (2019-2023).
- In addition, the ministry uses the system to assess training gaps and ensure all facilities and providers close the gap for untrained staff.
- Data from the system has been used to mobilize financial resources for family planning trainings.
- The ministry of health and partners used data from the system to plan training workshops and conduct monitoring and evaluation exercises. Additionally, the ministry has enabled the system to highlight providers who are certified to provide services.
- The ministry has made the HRHIS the official tool to capture all on-the-job trainings for the reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and vaccine programs. Other programs are looking into how they can integrate their training information into the system.