Supportive supervision of mid level health workers in rural Nepal for improved job satisfaction, motivation and quality of care
Many low-income countries are suffering from shortages of health workers in rural areas. To expand access to health care, mid level health workers with up to three years training are being expected to complete tasks that higher cadres of health worker would usually undertake. Yet these cadres are largely ignored at a policy level. To enable these health workers to fulfil their potential and provide good quality care, they need to be adequately supported and supervised.
Research suggests that health workers may respond better to supervision if their supervisor is aware of their emotional needs. Their manager should build trust through listening, empathy and responding to the individual concerns of health workers (Cummings et al. 2010).
Through this MRC health systems intervention development grant, we will conduct action research with the Government of Nepal to develop supportive supervision interventions for mid level health workers in rural Nepal. We will engage with the government to explore feasible interventions that can be integrated within existing systems. We will seek further funding to implement and test the impact of these systems in subsequent research.