Decentralization's Impact on the Health Workforce: Perspectives of Managers, Workers and National Leaders


By Riitta-Liisa Kolehmainen-Aitken

Designers and implementers of decentralization and other reform measures have focused much attention on financial and structural reform measures, but ignored their human resource implications. Concern is mounting about the impact that the reallocation of roles and responsibilities has had on the health workforce and its management, but the experiences and lessons of different countries have not been widely shared. This paper examines evidence from published literature on decentralization's impact on the demand side of the human resource equation, as well as the factors that have contributed to the impact. The elements that make such an impact analysis exceptionally complex are identified.