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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

How Foreign Aid can Undermine Public Sector Health Worker Recruitment and Retention in Low-Income Countries

Amy Hagopian, MHA, PhD, University of Washington, Box 354982, 4311 11th Ave, NE, Seattle, WA 98195-4982, 206-616-4989, hagopian@u.washington.edu and Elvira Beracochea, MD, MPH, MIDEGO, 4710 Olley Lane, Fairfax, VA 22032.

In this session, we will address how donor countries and organizations can structure their programs to increase the likelihood that low-income countries can successfully recruit and retain health workers to their public sector delivery systems. Too often, public-sector health workers are siphoned off to work in NGO offices, to work for global organization corporate headquarters, to work for foreign governments, or to migrate abroad in search of “greener pastures.” Foreign involvement intended to improve population health and education should not generate these unintended consequences.

Representatives of their countries met in March of 2005 to “take far-reaching and monitorable actions to reform the ways we deliver and manage aid a we look ahead to the UN five-year review of the Millennium Declaration and Millennium Development Goals.” The meeting has been dubbed the "Paris High-Level Forum." Ministers confirmed their intent to harmonize and align aid delivery in a way that doesn't unintentionally undermine partner countries' goals and priorities.

The Paris Forum is just the latest effort to ensure foreign aid does more good than harm. We will report on progress made to align foreign aid with the goal of low-income countries to attract and retain a trained and experienced health labor force to staff public clinics and hospitals.

Learning Objectives: