The Asia-Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health (AAAH) is a regional partnership mechanism established in 2015 to raise the international recognition of the need for global and regional action; and strengthen country health workforce planning and action.
Currently, AAAH has 18 members including ; 9 from the South East Asia (SEA) region including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, and 9 from the Western Pacific Region (WPR): Cambodia, China, Fiji, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa and Vietnam.
AAAH’s 5 priority actions are the following: HRH advocacy, information monitoring, capacity strengthening, knowledge generation, and technical coordination.
AAAH is managed by a small Secretariat team under the guidance of the Steering Committee. Each country in the network has a focal point who acts as a coordinator between the AAAH and agencies within the country.
The Vision of the AAAH network is:
“Countries have strong HRH research, planning and management capacity to support the development of equitable and effective health systems in the Asia-Pacific region”
There are key actions to initiate HRH activities in the region, including advocacy and support for strengthening HRH planning and implementation; knowledge generation, management and sharing; and coordination and technical support with partners in order to build capacity for HRH research, planning and management.
2.1 Advocacy and support for strengthening HRH planning
AAAH website: www.aaahrh.org
AAAH newsletter: the AAAH newsletters have been published bimonthly since 2007 and are available for download from the AAAH Website.
Participation in other meetings/workshops: AAAH Secretariat staff and Steering Committee members have attended a number of HRH-related meetings to advocate the importance of HRH and create opportunities for collaboration with potential partners.
2.2 Knowledge generation, management and sharing
The AAAH Conference: the AAAH Conference had arranged on an annual basis in the second half of the year from 2006 to 2012. Then it has altered a biennial basis. It is an international forum aiming to facilitate the exchange of HRH knowledge and experience among the AAAH country members and international partners.
1st AAAH Conference on 28-31 October 2006, Ayutthaya, Thailand
2nd AAAH Conference on 12-14 October 2007, Beijing, China
3rd AAAH Conference on 12-15 October 2008, Sri Lanka4th AAAH Conference on 23-25 November 2009, Hanoi, Vietnam
4th AAAH Conference on 23-25 November 2009, Hanoi, Vietnam
5th AAAH Conference on 3-6 October 2010, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
6th AAAH Conference on 9-11 November 2011, Cebu, Philippines
7th AAAH Conference on 5-7 December 2012, Bangkok, Thailand
8th AAAH Conference on 27-31 October 2014, Weihai, China
9th AAAH Conference on 24-28 October 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka
10th AAAH Conference on 19-21 November 2018, Hanoi, Vietnam
Knowledge sharing: Materials relating to the AAAH annual conferences e.g. proceedings from the 1st-6th annual conferences are posted on the AAAH website. The AAAH website also facilitates knowledge sharing through country based blogs, a register of researchers and their interests, and a web discussion board.
Knowledge generation, management and sharing: The 8th AAAH Conference 2014 was held in Weihai, China from 27th – 31st October 2014 on the theme of “Move Ahead: Strengthening HRH Strategies and Action towards UHC in Post-2015 era”.
2.3 Capacity Building
AAAH supports capacity building for a new generation of researchers to join the AAAH annual conference and make presentations and network with experts in other countries. At the 6th annual conference, 72 abstracts were submitted representing all the AAAH member countries. Some of the selected presenters were newcomers to the field of HRH research and the AAAH Annual Conference.
Additionally, Sri Lanka is conducting a technical report on HRH under the priority country project, AAAH initiative, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.
AAAH has taken part in the development of the Asia Pacific Regional Network of Health Professional Training Institutes, supported by WHO/SEARO. Additionally, in 2012, there are 2 intersession activities which will strengthen in-country capacity in conducting research and create both in-country and network ownership and accountability:
- Policy Mapping and Analysis of Rural Retention Policy
- Policy Analysis on the Roles of the Public and Private Sectors in Health Professional Production/Employment