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Volume 19 Supplement 1

Workload Indicators for Staffing Need (WISN) methodology for health workforce planning and estimation


Health Workforce department within World Health Organisation (WHO) is seeking submissions for the Human Resources for Health supplement issue. This supplement seeks to expand the evidence base on implementation experiences of the Workload Indicators for Staffing Need (WISN) studies carried out in varying settings and the use of the WISN results to aid health workforce planning.  

One of the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals aims to substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States. The WHO vision talks of healthier populations where everyone lives healthy, productive lives, regardless of who they are or where they live. Health workforce is a crucial component of health services and health systems necessary to achieve Primary Health Care (PHC) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: 2030 [1]aims to reduce the inequities in health workforce distribution and improve employment. WHO strives to build country capacity to plan for the health workforce, which is essential to deliver the required health services. The health crisis situations due to natural disasters, Ebola and the ongoing COVID-19 all call for the importance of evidence-based health workforce planning. 

How to submit

This supplement is currently open to new submissions. Submissions should be uploaded to  the supplement site and not the main journal submission. Any accepted manuscript will have the Article Processing Charge sponsored by the WHO.

During submission authors should select ‘Workload Indicators for Staffing Need (WISN) methodology for health workforce planning and estimation from the list’, and mention this title in their cover letter. Full manuscripts should be submitted by 1 December 2020. For submission details refer to documents here

This supplement will contribute to the ongoing efforts coordinated by the WHO and its partners to build in-country WISN capacity and advocate for the need for evidence-based health workforce planning. We are seeking submissions on a range of topics related to application of the WHO Workload Indicators of Staffing Need (WISN) tool including but not limited to the following:

WISN for health workforce planning at national levelWISN for health workforce management at facility levelWISN results used for equitable distribution of health workforce Using WISN to estimate the health workforce needs for specific health services, health epidemics etcLessons learnt and challenges faced in WISN implementationEstablishing and revising staffing norms using the WISN methodologyHealth workforce information systems systematized to address WISN data elements Institutionalizing WISN in health workforce policy and planning

The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WHO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted and dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.

The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers’ products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by WHO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. Errors and omissions excepted, the names of proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.

All reasonable precautions have been taken by WHO to verify the information contained in this publication. However, the published material is being distributed without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the material lies with the reader. In no event shall WHO be liable for damages arising from its use.

Any opinion, finding and conclusion or recommendation expressed in the Editorial or any article published in this supplement are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the WHO. Edited by Mollent Okech, Pamela McQuide, Tomas Zapata Lopez, Khassoum Diallo and Teena Kunjumen. The Editors express no competing interests and the views expressed in the articles are the sole responsibility of the authors.