Lord Nigel Crisp – who is also currently working on a review of DFID’s leadership capability – has called for a new system to help global health systems:
His report calls for an NHS scholarship scheme to help with training and recommends a set amount of aid funds to be set aside for health workers. It also says there should be a Global Health Partnership Centre to act as a “one-stop shop” offering information to individuals and organisations wanting to help global health systems.
I am not so sure. What developing governments need is systematic, long term investment in health systems. Capacity building should be based on a serious strategy for institutional development. These volunteer schemes are sticking plasters, which risk diverting attention from addressing the underlying needs of the systems.