HR & leadership - technical resources

Adebayo Adekola

>Photo credit: WHO (1), WHO (2), UNICEF (3)

Health systems can only function with health workers. Health workforce must be prioritized for universal health coverage to be achieved. The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) describes capacity building of managers and front-line health workers as a recommended action for strong immunization and health systems. A competent and motivated workforce is a key performance driver of any immunization and health programme. Programmes and associated supply chain systems cannot function optimally without the right people equipped with the right knowledge and skills, motivated and supported by appropriate human resources policies and supervision.

The page provides links to technical resources and other useful information on human resources involved in ensuring that quality vaccines, therapeutics and ancillary products reach communities. This includes the health workers, supply workforce and support staff. Policy makers, Immunization Managers, Supply Chain Professionals, Cold Chain Officers, Immunization Professionals and Health Scholars working with government, development partners, civil society organisations, academia and private sector will find this page useful to their work and programmes. The technical resources are organised into the following sections. In addition, for guidance on how to improve human resources for immunization supply chain and cold chain management across four pathways (staffing, skills, working conditions and motivation), please refer to Effective Vaccine Management Good Practice - Human Resources & Leadership


These resources will guide effective planning, budgeting and strategies for HR and leadership development at all levels. 

Human Resources for Supply Chain Management Theory of ChangePeople That Deliver2018GuidanceEnglish
Human Resources rapid assessment training guide & questionnaireUNICEF2016TrainingEnglish
Strengthening HR for SCM in the immunization supply chain in Nigeria through stakeholder engagementBervery Chawaguta, Ibrahim Alhaji Umar2017Journal articleEnglish
The people factor: An analysis of the human resources landscape for immunization supply chain managementMusonda Kasonde, Pamela Steele2017Journal articleEnglish
Understanding the policy environment for immunization supply chains: Lessons learned from landscape analyses in Uganda and SenegalAbdoulaye Gueye, Annette Seck Ndiaye, Brian Atuhaire, El Hadji Mamadou Ndiaye, Erin Fry Sosne, Henry Luzze, Ousseynou Badiane, Phillippe Guinot, Phionah AtuhebweJournal articleEnglish

Policy, governance and leadership

These resources facilitate data-driven decision-making and enabling environment for effective governance and policy improvement. 

The following links provide important information about policy, governance and leadership:

ISC leadership
National Logistics Working Group


These resources support countries on how to improve the quality and quantity of HR available to support programmes and supply functions.

Human resources for medical devices, the role of biomedical engineers. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.World Health Organization (WHO)2017GuidanceEnglish
Who is preparing the next generation of immunization supply chain professionals?Andrew N. Brown, Dominique Zwinkels, Wendy Prosser2017Case studyEnglish

Workforce development (training, competency development & supportive supervision)

These resources guide countries on sustainable capacity building approaches through continuous learning and performance support.

The following link provide important information about workforce development:

Training Needs Analysis Toolkit

A Web-based interactive education programme on vaccination for public health officials.B. C. Chun, E. Jeong, J. Kim, J. Lee, S. Yang, Y. Shin, Y. Yoon2001Journal articleEnglish
Building a Strong Supply Chain Workforce in Ghana – The Role of Preservice TrainingEomba Motomoke2017GuidanceEnglish
Building a strong supply chain workforce the role of pre-service trainingJSI2016GuidanceEnglish
Capacity development with sustainable impact: Towards country-owned technical assistance (16th TechNet Conference)Arletty Pinel, Dmitri Davydov, Graça Matsinhe, Moussa Yazi2020PresentationEnglish
Developing and sustaining human resources in the health supply chain in Ethiopia: barriers and enablersKälvemark Sporrong S et al.2016Journal articleEnglish
Developing standardized competencies to strengthen immunization systems and workforceAlice Pope, Carla Lee, Denise Traicoff, Dharmesh Lal, Hardeep Sandhu, Jhilmil Bahl, Johannes Ahrendts, Lorraine Shamalla, Molly Abbruzzese, Peter Bloland, Steven Stewart, Tove RymanJournal articleEnglish
Experiential and authentic learning approaches in vaccine managementUmit Kartoglu et al.2017Journal articleEnglish
Immunization training resourcesWorld Health Organization (WHO)2020TrainingEnglish
Logistics Competencies, Skills, and Training : A Global OverviewAlan McKinnon, Christina Busch, Christoph Flöthmann, Kai Hoberg2017GuidanceEnglish
Supply Chain Data Use Theory of Change and Theory of Action: A Conceptual Framework for Program and Supply Chain ManagersCHAI, inSupply Health, JSI, VillageReachGuidanceEnglish
The role of supportive supervision on immunization program outcome - a randomized field trial from GeorgiaMamuka Djibuti et al.2009Journal articleEnglish

Working condition and motivation

These resources focus on driving approaches to improve workforce motivation, health and safety.

Health and supply workforce initiatives

Learn about workforce initiatives promoting latest trends, best practices, collective action and strategic direction in  human resources and leadership.

People that Deliver coalition

People that Deliver (PtD) was established in 2011 when 79 institutions came together at the WHO and pledged their support and action to strengthen the capacity of the health supply chain workforce, while promoting the professionalization of the supply chain role within the broader health system. PtD is the global leader in human resources (HR) for supply chain management (SCM). It does this by advocating for a systematic approach to HR for SCM and for interventions that improve the demand and supply of qualified health supply chain professionals. 

Global Health Workforce Alliance

The Global Health Workforce Network was established in 2016, following a request by select Member States and building on a proposal by the Board of the Global Health Workforce Alliance. The May 2016 adoption of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 and the recommendations of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth are the foundation for an ambitious, forward-looking health workforce agenda to progress towards universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.

HRH2030 program

HRH2030 helps low- and middle-income countries develop the health workforce needed to prevent maternal and child deaths, support the goals of Family Planning 2020, control the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and protect communities from infectious diseases.

Frontline health worker coalition

The Frontline Health Workers Coalition is an alliance of United States-based organizations working together to urge greater and more strategic investments in frontline health workers in low- and middle-income countries as a cost-effective way to save lives and foster a healthier, safer, and more prosperous world.

Network for Education and Support in Immunization

The Network for Education and Support in Immunisation (NESI) was officially launched on 1 September 2002. With the development of new vaccines and increased commitment by development partners and private sector initiatives to strengthen vaccine supply and immunization services, there are more opportunities to prevent more diseases in more infants, children, adolescents and adults. This led to the establishment of NESI, which is a collaborative network focusing on capacity building for the strengthening of existing immunization systems and introduction of new vaccines, with a broad technical scope and wide geographical focus.

EAC Regional Centre of Excellence for Vaccines, Immunization and Health Supply Chain

The East Africa Community (EAC) seeks to address these SCM challenges for vaccines and other health commodities through incremental capacity improvements. Consequently, the EAC established the EAC Regional Centre of Excellence for Vaccines, Immunisation and Health Supply Chain Management (RCE-VIHSCM) at the University of Rwanda in Kigali. The purpose of the RCE is to establish basic and advanced training for health supply chain management (HSCM) in the EAC regional, to support professionalization of the HSCM cadres and to be a knowledge hub through research and innovation.

Human Resource for Health Journal

Human Resources for Health welcomes articles examining health workforce issues, from all disciplines, and all countries, at all income levels.

Working for Health

An intersectoral, strategic, multi-stakeholder programme leveraging the convening power and mandates of the UN (ILO & WHO) and the OECD to expand and transform the health and social workforce

Strategic Training Executive Programme (STEP)

STEP aims to help  immunization and health supply chain managers in countries hone their skills to provide leadership for supply chain improvement. It increases access to medicines and vaccines in the long run by building the capacity of next generation health and supply leaders at national and sub-national level. It is a blended learning programme with private sector participation which combines self-paced learning, facilitator led training, on-the-job application of leadership skills and coaching support.