IFGH 2012: ‘From Dream to Reality’ – The National HRH Observatory- Sudan Success Story

January 31, 2012

Authors: Ayat Abuagla, Amel Abdalla, Nour Yousif, Abeer Yahia, Fayrouz Abdalla Elsheikh Badr

Author Affiliations:The National Human Resources for Health Observatory-Sudan, HRD, FMOH, Sudan

Option 2– Lessons from the field; project and programme evaluations; and syntheses or analyses Presented as – Oral Presentation


Human resources for health (HRH) are critical for health systems and health care. However, lack of evidence is hampering HRH development in several countries. Health workforce observatories have been introduced to address evidence and multi-stakeholder coordination for HRH. The Sudan National HRH Observatory (NHRHO) was established in 2006 as part of a regional initiative.


NHRHO establishment was based on ownership and participation of over 15 HRH stakeholders in the country. The observatory’s underpinning philosophy is that health workforce is the most valuable asset for the health system; hence it should be highly prioritized. The observatory visions to figure out as a comprehensive, sustainable and dynamic human resource information system (HRIS) and policy forum serving the development of health system and improvement of population health in Sudan and beyond. NHRHO missions to continuously generate and provide evidence and convene stakeholders to inform and support policy and decision-making in HRH. The goal of the observatory is to monitor trends in patterns of the health workforce to generate reliable and instant data, information and evidence needed for human resource development.

Lessons learned:

During its short existence, NHRHO has demonstrated a model in initiating, leading and facilitating HRH reforms for health system strengthening. NHRHO established a vivid stakeholder forum meeting regularly to discuss HRH issues. It also developed a comprehensive data-base on national health workforce based on two national surveys. The observatory created a web-based data system for easy access to health workforce data and information for policy and decision-makers, various stakeholders and researchers. Through conducting a nationwide exercise HRH research priorities and agenda for Sudan were identified, explored and now being researched. Recently, NHRHO spearheaded the production of a comprehensive HRH strategic plan for Sudan, the first of its kind.

Next steps:

Prospects for NHRHO work involve consolidating and sustaining stakeholder forum, extending electronic databases to decentralised levels, scaling up advocacy and addressing capacity gaps for HRH development and fostering invocative solutions to health workforce issues.



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