Health workforce development: A needs assessment study in French speaking African countries

Philippe Chastonay, Roberto Moretti, Véronique Zesiger, Marco Cremaschini, Rebecca Bailey, George Pariyo, Emmanuel Mpinga Kabengele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In 2006, WHO alerted the world to a global health workforce crisis, demonstrated through critical shortages of health workers, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHO in World Health Report, 2006). The objective of our study was to assess, in a participative way, the educational needs for public health and health workforce development among potential trainees and training institutions in nine French-speaking African countries. A needs assessment was conducted in the target countries according to four approaches: (1) Review at national level of health challenges. (2) Semi-directed interviews with heads of relevant training institutions. (3) Focus group discussions with key-informants. (4) A questionnaire-based study targeting health professionals identified as potential trainees. A needs assessment showed important public health challenges in the field of health workforce development among the target countries (e. g. unequal HRH distribution in the country, ageing of HRH, lack of adequate training). It also showed a demand for education and training institutions that are able to offer a training programme in health workforce development, and identified training objectives and core competencies useful to potential employers and future trainees (e. g. leadership, planning/evaluation, management, research skill). In combining various approaches our study was able to show a general demand for health managers who are able to plan, develop and manage a nation's health workforce. It also identified specific competencies that should be developed through an education and training program in public health with a focus on health workforce development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-277
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Health workforce development
  • Public health
  • Training needs assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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