Capacity Building

Effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions and skilled, knowledgeable health care workers, program managers, and leaders are essential to resilient and sustainable pharmaceutical systems that ensure universal access to and appropriate use of the best available diagnostic, preventive, and treatment tools.

Low- and middle-income countries have institutional and human resource gaps at many levels. Approximately 85% of World Health Organization (WHO) Member States report having less than one pharmaceutical personnel per 1,000 population, while only 10% of the 138 countries that responded to the WHO Global Health Observatory survey reported more than one biomedical engineer and/or technician per 10,000 population. Many government departments face critical and chronic shortages of managerial and technical experts for key pharmaceutical system functions in regional and local facilities. As a result, institutional capacity building among pharmaceutical system stakeholders is needed to improve human resource management and operations. MTaPS will primarily focus on institutional capacity in its technical approach.

Aligned with USAID’s Vision for Health System Strengthening 2030 and the agency’s health system and disease-specific strategies, MTaPS focuses on locally-led approaches and strengthens country human resources and institutions to:

  • Develop sustainable, high-impact country capacity for transparent, accountable pharmaceutical systems-related law, policy, planning, leadership, and management
  • Improve countries’ capacity to collect, analyze, and use pharmaceutical systems-related information for decision making
  • Work with country stakeholders and human resource managers to overcome recruitment, deployment, and retention challenges that impact service delivery

MTaPS helps countries:

  • Develop and integrate human resources strategies and interventions, such as addressing female workforce needs, creating new workforce cadres, outsourcing and evaluating pharmacy workforce, and providing supervision and continuing education
  • Develop, validate, and support the use of innovative capacity-building strategies, such as locally customized e-tools and platforms, e-learning programs, smart phone-based microlearning courses, peer-to-peer learning programs, in-service certification and mentorship programs, and microgrants/scholarships
  • Enhance government capacity to manage pharmaceutical operations and ensure access to safe, effective, quality-assured medicines and effective pharmaceutical services
  • Design and implement country-specific plans to guide capacity-building interventions and institutionalize pharmaceutical system management competencies
  • Institutionalize human resource capacity-building strategies such as pre- and in-service training and task shifting within the pharmaceutical system
  • Modify contracting policies, procedures, and processes and increase capacity to manage or issue contracts for pharmaceutical management operations
  • Enhance government efforts to lead collaborative activities among donors, cooperating agencies, and other stakeholders and to manage and prioritize appropriate pharmaceutical systems strengthening interventions
  • Develop national medicines regulatory authorities’ institutional capacity to control the quality, safety, and efficacy of medicines with strategies such as on-the-job training, knowledge sharing, and adaptation of model tools (SOPs and guidelines)
  • Support strong pharmacovigilance systems to ensure rigorous patient safety monitoring when new global health products are introduced to the market
  • Ensure sustainable pharmacovigilance systems that provide a timely response when patients experience adverse reactions to medicines or health technologies fail and work to prevent such occurrences
  • Develop and strengthen professional and preservice programs in collaboration with regional medicines harmonization technical expert bodies and support program and curriculum accreditation
  • Support governments to institutionalize clear policies and procedures for identifying information gaps and using data for decision making, which can be applied in a variety of areas, including updating standard treatment guidelines, making prescribing and dispensing decisions, adding new or novel drugs to formularies or reimbursement lists, and taking regulatory action in response to medicines safety and quality issues
  • Strengthen systems to promote patient-centered pharmaceutical services in the public and private sectors (e.g., introducing pharmacy accreditation schemes to improve standards of practice)

Download MTaPS Capacity Building factsheet

For more information, contact:

Principal Technical Advisor

Andrew Brown

Senior Principal Technical Advisor

[email protected]