Working for Health (W4H)

More health workers with the right skills are needed to achieve the SDGs, particularly in low income countries. Switzerland contributes to a joint WHO, ILO and OECD program providing catalytic support to governments, social partners and other key stakeholders to develop, finance and implement national health workforce strategies and investment plans. This will improve the supply and employment of health workers, maximise their performance, create decent jobs and accelerate progress towards UHC.   

Región/País Tema Período Presupuesto
A nivel mundial
Fortalecimiento del sistema sanitario
Educación sanitaria
Organizaciones para la igualdad de la mujer
01.11.2020 - 31.10.2025
CHF  2’500’000
Contexto The existing health workforce is insufficient and/or not adequately skilled to achieve the SDGs by 2030 globally. There is a projected shortfall of 18 million health workers, of which 9 million are nurses and midwives. To address this, the joint WHO, ILO and OECD Working for Health program supports countries in creating decent jobs in health and social care, and taking concrete action to tackle underinvestment and gaps in their health and social care workforce. Building on Swiss experience and know-how in medical education, SDC supports this innovative strategic partnership aiming at bringing a change of paradigm in the approach to human resource for health, by linking medical education and training to labour market dynamics.

To expand and transform the health workforce for universal health coverage and global health security by 2030.


The programme provides catalytic support to governments, social partners and key stakeholders in up to 20 low- and middle-income countries to develop, finance and implement multi-sectoral national health workforce strategies for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) that will increase the supply and employment of trained health workers, create decent jobs, maximise the performance of health workers, deliver essential quality health services where they are most needed, improve health outcomes, and ensure that health systems’ resilience, preparedness, and core capabilities for public health, primary health care, and health security, are strengthened.

Grupos destinarios The program will target governments, youth, women, health workers, including those who migrate for economic reasons (forced and irregular migration), communities and civil society in low- and middle-income countries.
Efectos a medio plazo

Outcome 1: The supply of skilled health workers meets assessed country needs. This will be done by aligning the education, skills and competency requirements of health workers with country-specific essential health care delivery packages and service delivery models; by improving the coordination of medical education, accreditation and health professions regulation; and by stimulating the transformation of the education and training system in supported countries to produce and deploy a fit-for-purpose workforce to meet current and future needs.

Outcome 2: Decent health sector jobs created to match public health and labour market needs. This will be done by investing in the quantity and quality of health workers’ jobs. The program will help to address health labour market failures in supported countries through the application of a detailed and context-appropriate health labour market analysis framework, to better understand and analyse the root causes of these failures which perpetuate underinvestment. This analysis will help to identify actionable health workforce strategies and investment plans, and to mobilize resources for their implementation. 

Outcome 3: Health workers are recruited and retained according to country needs. This will be done through the alignment of the supply of health workers with needs and the creation of decent jobs in terms of adequate pay, working conditions, labour protection, rights at work, occupational health and safety and protection of health workers. 


Resultados previstos:  

Aligned medical education/training/accreditation
that responds to country-specific needs

·   Improved staffing and models for delivering
essential quality health services

·   Enhanced skills and competencies in line with
service delivery and population needs

·  Adopted health workforce policies that are
informed by health labour market analysis

·  Enhanced multisectoral health workforce
strategies and plans in target countries

·  Secured and sustained investments and
funding for the health workforce

·  Increased recruitment and distribution
of health workers for primary health care
in rural/underserved areas

·  Improved occupational health, safety and
protection of health workers in all settings

-  Enhanced gender responsiveness, social
protection and decent work 

Resultados de las fases anteriores:  

Over the period 2019-2020, the Working for Health program supported:

·  Four countries (Niger, Rwanda, South Africa and Guinea) to develop and implement health workforce strategies and investment plans that will contribute to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

·  Two regional economic communities (Southern African Development Community - SADC, Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine - UEMOA), to develop and implement multisectoral health workforce strategies that will increase education, skills and jobs, to improve health outcomes, access and equity;

·  Two normative frameworks for driving evidence-based health workforce policy, reform and investments.

Dirección / Officina Federal responsable COSUDE
Crédito Cooperación al desarrollo
Contrapartes del proyecto Contraparte del contrato
Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU)
  • Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo

Otras contrapartes
UNDESA, EIB, World Bank, UN SG Fund, AfDB 
Coordinación con otros proyectos y actores ILO, OECD and WHO will work closely and coordinate all actions with global health initiatives or funds, other UN agencies, European Investment Bank, World Bank, regional development banks, bilateral donors and foundations, governments, employers’ associations; Quality Evidence for Health System Transformation Network (QuEST); Network for Health Financing (P4H) 
Presupuesto Fase en curso Presupuesto suizo CHF    2’500’000 Presupuesto actual suizo ya emitido CHF    0 Presupuesto inclusive contrapartes del proyecto CHF    70’000’000