The capacity and size of the health workforce in low-income countries is one of the critical bottlenecks to achieving the health-related MDGs. International links aim to build capacity in low-income countries. By working in the countries themselves, they can lead to change that is embedded in the local situation and hence tends to be sustainable. There is good information about what makes an international link effective. The Health Partnership Scheme (HPS) is designed so that a managing agent can ensure that this knowledge about good practice is applied. This expertise should enhance the benefits already produced by the goodwill of health personnel in the UK and partner countries.
Evidence about the effectiveness of international links is largely qualitative. Nevertheless, some programmes have shown excellent value for money – for example the Health Systems Strengthening Programme in Somaliland has been instrumental in achieving the graduation of the first nationally trained doctors in Somaliland; a 30% increase in the number of doctors in the health system; and the graduation of 26 nurse tutors trained in teaching, clinical and leadership skills.
The economic appraisal recommends that the HPS is funded for four years to a total indicative amount of £20 million.
The institutional/governance appraisal addresses the questions:
(a) is the programme feasible in the institutional context, and
(b) does it help build capacity? –how?
The social appraisal addresses the questions:
(a) does the programme reflect a robust understanding of poverty and
the social context? and
(b) which groups of poor people will benefit and how?
The environmental appraisal addresses the questions:
(a) what is the environmental impact of the programme? and
(b) if there are environmental risks, how will they be managed
Health and Education Advice and Resource Team. Assignment Report: DFID Health Partnership Scheme Appraisals. HEART, UK (2012)