Transforming capacity strengthening in an era of sustainable development

22 Oct 2020
Dr Anne Christine Stender Heerdegen


District health managers (DHMs) operate and manage most public health care facilities in the health systems of many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). They must turn national health policies and human, material, and financial resources into accessible high-quality health services. To improve district health services in many LMICs, the capacity of DHMs must be strengthened.

This article by Dr Anne Christine Stender Heerdegen argue that targeting competencies alone is insufficient to develop sustained improvements in management capacity. Since DHMs’ capacity is determined by a complex interaction of individual, organisational, and contextual factors, future capacity-strengthening initiatives should take on a systemic approach that utilizes tools to encourage systemic thinking, and encourages close collaboration with relevant local stakeholders.

This editorial is part of the series ‘Young Researcher Editorial’, a training project of the Swiss School of Public Health.