Effectiveness of leadership capacity building in the health sector

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Helpdesk Query:

What is the evidence that leadership training or courses lead to sustainably better leadership and management skills in the health sector?

  • What leadership courses are offered to health workers (nurses, in particular) and health policy makers?
  • What are the most effective types of capacity building processes to improve leadership skills in the health sector in low and low/middle income countries (LICs/LMICs)?
  • What is the evidence about the effectiveness of leadership courses from a UK
    perspective?
Summary:

Although there are options available for building health workers’ and health policy makers’ capacity to become stronger leaders (i.e. as public health leaders or managers), there is little evidence that specific training or courses lead to sustainably better leadership and management skills.

It is argued that the most effective types of capacity building processes to improve leadership skills in the health sector are monthly intensive training (e.g. ‘Global Nursing Policy Leadership Institute Programme’, GNPLI), or one-year fellowships with mentorship (e.g. ‘Improving Global Health through Learning Development’ programme, IGH) as part of UK-LIC/LMIC partnership programmes.

 

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