Human Resources Development for quality service delivery

Helping people becoming better at their job

doctor talking with a nurse

High pressure, low wages, and a lack of opportunities for continuous learning, result in staff losing motivation. The overall lack of adequate supervision and support is a serious stumbling block on the way to universal quality care in Uganda.

 

Receiving quality health care and education is not a given in Uganda. Although efforts towards better service delivery have been made by the Ugandan government, civil society and donors, a lot remains to be done. That is why the Belgian development agency, in cooperation with the Ugandan government, set up a project to contribute to improved service delivery by helping doctors, nurses, teachers, principals and managers become better at their job.

 

HR management & meeting the sustainable development goals


Generally, the importance of Human Resources Management to the success or failure of health and education systems has been overlooked.

However, there is growing recognition that a refocus on Human Resource policy and management has to be at the core of any sustainable solution to system performance. This recognition is partly a result of the need to upscale capacity in health and education systems to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Effective Human Resources Management strategies can ensure a well-motivated and appropriately skilled and deployed workforce. This is greatly needed to achieve better outcomes from health and education services around the world, and will improve access to these services. It should be at the core of any sustainable solution to guarantee the right to quality education and health.

Many general human resources issues in the health and education sector are known: the size, composition and distribution of the healthcare and education workforce, workforce training issues, the migration of health workers, the level of economic development and sociodemographic, geographical and cultural factors.

Uganda has such issues too. Health workers in Uganda are under high work pressure. For some positions the numbers are dramatic. In public health facilities, only 27% of the positions for anaesthetic officers are filled, for pharmacists the number stands at 40%. High pressure, low wages, and a lack of opportunities for continuous learning, result in staff losing motivation.

The overall lack of adequate supervision and support is a serious stumbling block on the way to universal quality care. Although the context is sector-specific, the HR situation in the education sector faces similar challenges.

 

poeple waiting at a dispensary

 

Investing in workforce development


If Uganda wants to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals concerning health and education, all parties involved need to step up. Our Support to the Development of Human Resources (SDHR) project is an additional strategy that supports the Belgian development agency’s health and education sector projects and as such contributes to moving the education and health sector in the right direction.

The new strategy, implemented through the SDHR project, is focusing on workforce development. It wants to improve knowledge, skills and attitudes of staff of 48 beneficiary organisations of the health and education sector so that they become better at their jobs.

It considers the composition of the health and education workforce in terms of both skill categories and training levels and provides new options for the education and in-service training of staff so that they are prepared to meet Uganda’s present and future needs.

 

men brainstorming around a table

 

How do we develop human resources?


“What I really like about this project is that we are involved in every step; participation really works,” says Yusuf Yahaya, instructor at Kichwambe vocational training institution. The school is located in Western Uganda, near the Congolese border, and has 436 students who aspire to become engineers, architects or ICT specialists.

“We have taken a bottom-up approach,” explains Elisabeth Nkwasire, training manager of the project. “We consult with our partners in the health and education sector every step of the way. That is why we understand the gaps and problems that different organisations have.”

“By making our own needs assessment we realised many of our lecturers have never set foot in a real factory. We made it a priority to resolve this issue.”
Yusuf, instructor at Kichwambe vocational training institution

Yusuf describes the work process: “At first we received training on how to conduct our own needs assessment. This was something new to me. We identified our needs and narrowed those down to a number of concrete problems. As a last step, we had to figure out the root cause behind these problems and come up with a way forward.”

“Many employers had told us our students lack the skills to enter the world of work. So this got us thinking: How is this possible? That’s when we understood that many of our lecturers never set foot in a real factory. So, how could they transfer the right skills upon their students?”

 

man with a saw

After the needs assessment, all beneficiaries were assisted in developing a Human Resource Development and Training Plan based on performance objectives they set for themselves. “As a second step, we reflected on training that could provide a solution. We decided our number one priority should be providing adequate technical skills for lecturers. For example, on solar installation. This is a new field, where we predict many jobs will open up in future. At the end of the day our students will receive the necessary skills to enter the world of work,” explains Yusuf.

The college then shared their plans with the SDHR project team, who approved the proposal and looked for quality training providers. “For everything there is an agreement between us and the Belgian development agency,” Yusuf continues, “We talk things over and request for guidance.”

 

Learning as an organisation


“We want to help staff transfer the skills they acquired to the entire workplace through action planning. That’s why we encourage them to share what they’ve learned with colleagues through short on-site courses,” says Elizabeth.

“For us it’s important to look beyond the delivery of training and the organising of events. What we want is a knowledge transfer from selected staff members onto the supported health facilities and colleges. We believe that real success comes when teams take ownership of their development and actions.”

The projects provides people in the health and education sector with the opportunity of continuous learning. This is appreciated by health workers, teachers and managers who often find themselves in a difficult situation. It takes dedicated people to work as a teacher or a health worker in Uganda. The workload is high, salaries are often low and not always paid on time, and opportunities to further develop skills are few.

 

woman getting examined by a doctor

 

Innovative ways of learning


“A lot of people never were trained after graduating from school. In a world that is constantly changing this means that staff is often unaware of the newest evolutions within their field of expertise. We try to counter this in several ways,” explains Elizabeth.

The SDHR project gives the staff of the 48 selected organisations the opportunity to get different types of training. Mostly by on on-the-job learning under the form of study tours or study attachments.

 

“A lot of patients suffer injuries from traffic accidents. We used to wait for the orthopaedic officer to arrive, after taking part in the study attachment we learned how we can already start treating people.” Fatima Nantume, nursing officer emergency section in Bundibugyo Hospital.

 

Fatima Nantume, a nursing officer who works for the emergency section at Bundibugyo Hospital, talks about the study attachment she and her team took part in. “We went to Mbale Hospital in Eastern Uganda and worked with the emergency staff for 14 days. We were very well received.”

“Most of our emergency patients were involved in a traffic accident. We used to wait for the orthopaedic officer to arrive before working on the patient. Through the study attachment we learned how to immobilize fractures and how to plaster them. This way, we save time in the patients’ interest,” shares Fatima.

In some cases long-term training outside the job environment is required. For instance, Ian, an orthopaedic officer at Fort Portal referral hospital, is now obtaining a degree in palliative care, a 3-year course in Kampala. “In palliative care we learn how to take care of people with a terminal illness. Although we have many cases of cancer and HIV in the hospital, there was no one who had a degree in this specific area. We want to provide the best possible care for our patients, so we decided that someone needed to get adequate training to handle these cases. With the support of the SDHR project I believe I will be able to do this.”

 

man with a saw

 

The project at a glance


 

  • The SDHR project reaches around 3500 employees
  • 21 organisations in the health sector
  • 21 organisations in the education sector
  • 6 organisations in the environment sector
  • Each institution developed their own Human Resources Development Plan
  • 1055 staff members helped create these HRD plans
  • Duration: 2014 – 2019
  • Total budget of 6.480.000 EUR

More updates and resources

News

23 November 2022

Interview with Adélaïde Kourouma, project Manager Urban Entrepreneurship in Guinea

Fostering the growth of emerging Guinean businesses. Read the interview.

Read more

News

16 November 2022

Are you the next talent we are looking for?

Make sure you are well-informed before applying for the Junior Programme. The application period has been extended until Sunday 20 November at midnight.

Read more

News

16 November 2022

Enabel and AFD Group sign a Memorandum of Understanding for increased European development agency cooperation

On 14 November, the Belgian development agency, Enabel, and the AFD Group, which includes the French development agency and Expertise France, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) defining the framework for deeper European cooperation and a strengthened partnership to address the main global challenges that people face in Africa and the Middle East.

Read more

News

15 November 2022

COP27 : les jeunes du Sahel veulent participer à la définition de l’agenda du changement climatique

Huit jeunes originaires de quatre pays du Sahel (Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali et Sénégal) prennent part au Sommet sur le climat en Égypte. Le mercredi 16 novembre, ils et elles viendront témoigner de ce que signifie le changement climatique pour eux et elles, à l’occasion d’un débat organisé par l’Agence belge de développement Enabel sous l’intitulé Youth Setting the Climate Agenda - National, Regional, and Global Action.

Read more

two young men looking at data on a laptop News

07 November 2022

Climate financing: Brussels and Walloon regions allocate 6 million for Enabel projects

The Brussels-Capital Region and the Walloon Region signed complementary financing agreements for several climate projects of the Belgian governmental cooperation, implemented by the Belgian development agency, Enabel. This announcement comes on the sidelines of COP-27, the global climate conference taking place in Egypt from 6 to 18 November. 

Read more

News

06 November 2022

Junior Programme – Looking for young talents!

Since 2 November, 14 new vacancies in various sectors are open to young talents of European nationality. They will have the opportunity to work in a project of Enabel agency itself, or to work in a non-governmental organisation such as Broederlijk Delen, Kiyo or Îles de Paix.

Read more

Stay informed

Keep up-to-date with our latest activities and international development trends from a Belgian perspective.

Newsletter

Consent(Required)