How Does District Health Management Emerge Within a Complex Health System? Insights for Capacity Strengthening in Ghana

08 Jul 2020
Anne Christine Stender Heerdegen, Jana Gerold, Samuel Amon, Samuel Agyei Agyemang, Moses Aikins and Kaspar Wyss
A screen grab of the title of the paper


District health managers (DHMs) play a pivotal role in the operation of district health systems in low—and middle income countries, including Ghana. Their capacity is determined by their competencies, but also by the organization and system in which they are embedded. The objective of this paper is to explore how district health management emerges from contextual, organisational, and individual factors in order to demonstrate that capacity strengthening efforts at district level need to transcend individual competencies to take on more systemic approaches.

It concludes that systemic approaches are called for in order to strengthen district health management capacity. This study can provide national policy-makers, donors and researchers with a deeper understanding of factors that should be taken into consideration when developing, planning, implementing, and assessing capacity-building strategies targeted at strengthening district health management.