Research for stronger health systems during and after crisis

ReBUILD's work on health worker incentives and remuneration

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Health worker incentives research

Our focus

Human resources development is an absolutely crucial part of health systems strengthening in conflict and crisis affected settings. Yet it has received relatively little attention in the literature and important issues may be overlooked by decision-makers and donors. Prior to ReBUILD's research, no study had focused on how the decisions made, or not made, in the post-conflict period can affect the longer term pattern of attraction, retention, distribution and performance of health workers, and thus ultimately the performance of the sector.

ReBUILD's health worker incentive research, undertaken in all four focal ReBUILD countries, explored how incentive environments have evolved in the shift away from conflict in each country, and what drove this process. The research analysed changing HRH policies and their effects, intended and unintended, and drew from this lessons for future, better interventions.

Our research methods looked back over the period since the conflict or crisis and are based on analysis of documents and HR data, combined with surveys of staff and key informant interviews. Career histories have proved particularly effective at highlighting staff experiences of conflict and post-conflict periods and policies.

ReBUILD's work on health worker incentives also included a further line of research conducted by ReBUILD's Affiliate partners at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, into health workers' incentives, remuneration and accountability in Sierra Leone.


This research has produced a large number of outputs, including peer-reviewed publications, briefing papers, reports and audio-visual outputs. These outputs are all available in this comprehensive list of all outputs from ReBUILD's work on human resources for health.

As well as country-specific papers and policy briefs, a number of cross-cutting and synthesis outputs have been produced, highlighting findings and giving recommendations relevant human resources for health in other settings affected by conflict and crisis.

For example, research from northern Uganda highlights experiences of conflict and the resilience shown by those who chose to stay and continue to serve during the long-standing recent conflict, and the need for more effective protection of staff and recognition of their contribution.

Key findings from this research form the basis of a briefing paper: Establishing a responsive and equitable health workforce post-conflict and post-crisis - lessons from ReBUILD research


Resource list

You can view and download a list of all outputs from ReBUILD's work on human resources for health. Updated versions will be posted as further resources are added