Human Resources in Humanitarian Health Working Group Report

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Prehospital and Disaster Medicine


Volume 24, Supplement 2

Inclusive Pages



Disaster Planning--organization & administration; World Health; Access to Health Care; Workforce Issues


Humanitarian responses to conflict and disasters due to natural hazards usually operate in contexts of resource scarcity and unmet demands for healthcare workers. Task shifting is one avenue for delivering needed health care in resource poor settings, and on-the-ground reports indicate that task shifting may be applicable in humanitarian contexts. However, a variety of obstacles currently restrict the ability to employ task shifting in these situations, including issues of regulation, accreditation, funding, and a lack of commonly agreed-upon core competencies for different categories of humanitarian health workers. The Human Resources in Humanitarian Health (HRHH) Working Group during the 2009 Humanitarian Action Summit evaluated the potential strengths and weaknesses of task shifting in humanitarian relief efforts, and proposed a range of strategies to constructively integrate task shifting into humanitarian response.