Key indicator to monitor the availability of health workers. It can serve as a proxy to monitor equity in the allocation of resources by humanitarian actors across different groups within the humanitarian case load and/or crisis affected population versus local populations.
Total number of health workers (medical doctor + nurse + midwife) in a defined administrative or health area at a certain point in time
The total population for the same geographical or health area at a certain point in time
Administrative area; health area; sex of health workers; level of health workers (medical doctor, nurse, midwife); support/no support from humanitarian organisations;
Indicator used for response monitoring ?
Threshold / Standard
> 22 health workers per 10 000 population Follow-up of trends
Calculation: health workers include medical doctors, nurses and midwifes Interpretation: This indicator is a snapshot of the situation at a certain period of time. At the pre-crisis phase, this indicator will indicate the baseline availability of work force. In the early phase after a crisis occurs, this indicator will show the consequences of the crisis (decrease/reduction in work force reporting to the facilities) when compared to pre-crisis and the needs in term of support. At later stages of crisis, trends in this indicator will allow to monitor the response in supporting health services. There is no consensus about optimal level of health workers for a population. Limitation: this indicator measures the availability of work force but does not measure the competencies of the work force. Competencies should be further appraised.
Guidance on phases
There is a differing level of quality of data which can be collected at different phases of the emergency depending on the context, eg the data available and the systems for data collection in place before the crisis, the accessibility of the affected areas, the resources on the ground, etc...
Guidance for pre-crisis/baseline
Number of health workers, administrative boundaries, health areas boundaries, population per administrative areas and population per health areas should be available for crisis-prone countries, possibly as part of the COD/FOD, as a prepardness instrument
Numerator: health statistics; assessment of service availability (eg SARA, HeRAMS); Denominator: administrative boundaries; health areas boundaries; population per administrative area; population per health area;
Further guidance: Monitoring the building blocks of the health system (http://www.who.int/healthinfo/systems/monitoring/en/index.html)