Mark Beesley et al in HPP

http://bit.ly/uk52F3

Reviewed by Josefien Van Olmen

This paper is a little jewel, rare in its kind. It present the analysis of a case study of technical assistance to a Ministry of Health in a post-conflict situation. Rare for several reasons: 1) analysis of such technical assistance interventions hardly exists (certainly not in such accessible publications!); 2) the authors are open and relatively critical towards the processes in which they themselves played an important role; and 3) it unveils some myths about the value of gathering information.

The authors describe how a WHO team was called in to assist the government of Sudan to a survey inventarising the human resource situation in southern Sudan and how the subsequent policy-making of the Ministry of Health deviated from the recommendations in the report. The authors use the policy triangle of Buse & Walt to describe context, actors, processes and content. Although their analysis is not very elaborate, and – as admitted – biased, it provides very useful insights in the constraints of similar missions, in (post-)conflict situations, but probably in many low income states which heavily depend on donor money and the technical expertise that often comes along with it.

An easy to read, but for sure you won’t forget the key message lightly.

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