YouthPower Learning Webinar
Empowering Youth to Overcome Health & Social Service Workforce Shortages: Opportunities and Challenges in South Africa
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
8:30-10:00 a.m. EST
3:30-5:00 p.m. SAST
Click here to access the recording and slides from this webinar.
How could the youth bulge in sub-Saharan Africa be harnessed to overcome severe shortages in the health and social sector workforce? The WHO projects a global gap of 18 million health workers by 2030, primarily in low and middle-income countries, threatening to roll back gains in controlling the HIV epidemic. At the same time, many African countries are searching for solutions to a massive and growing employment crisis, as job creation is not keeping pace with the increasing population of youth entering the labor force. Adolescent girls and young women are disproportionately affected, while also facing higher risk for HIV than males of the same age. South Africa is a prime example of these trends, with broader relevance in Africa and other low and middle-income countries.
When asked about careers in health and social services, many youth think first of jobs as doctors or nurses that require years of higher education. Yet more accessible opportunities are emerging across the health and social sectors and associated value chains, in fields such as pharmacy, phlebotomy (drawing blood), and community health work. Many offer strong potential for advancement and professional development, especially for young women. Presenters will share learning about emerging jobs and career pathways for youth, while also taking a frank look at the systemic barriers that can exclude youth or limit advancement. We will discuss implications for youth employment programs, whether specifically focused on health and social services or more generally on skill development or employment. For more information relating to this webinar, visit the USAID YouthPower Action South Africa Health Workforce Assessment as an additional resource.
Additionally, two more co-authors of the YouthPower Action study will be joining during the Q&A session: Karen Katz, MPA, MSc, Deputy Director of the Health Services Research group at FHI 360, and Roy Natherson, PhD, MBA, MSc, a Senior Healthcare Consultant based in Johannesburg.
• Obed Diener, Technical Advisor, FHI 360
Mr. Diener is Technical Manager for the USAID YouthPower Action South Africa Health Workforce Assessment activity. Drawing from a field assessment and review of programs by a mixed international-local team, the study identifies opportunities for strengthening employment and career advancement opportunities for marginalized youth in the health and social sectors in South Africa. He led teams in the design and execution of a series of three studies related to cultivating and measuring ‘soft skills’ in international youth development from 2015-17, under USAID YouthPower Action. Currently a Regional Technical Advisor based in Amman, Jordan, he directs FHI 360’s USAID-funded African Union Partnership project of technical assistance support to the African Union Commission in fields including youth development, TVET, and private sector engagement. He also currently provides technical support to FHI 360 enterprise development and value chain projects in Jordan and in Tunisia, and has previously designed and managed youth livelihoods programs in the West Bank & Gaza and in South Sudan. He has an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a B.A. in English from Goshen College.
• Abigail Ornellas, Ph.D., Researcher, Stellenbosch University
Dr. Ornellas is a social sciences researcher, writer and postdoctoral research fellow at Stellenbosch University. In 2017, Dr. Ornellas completed her PhD at Stellenbosch University, assessing the impact of neoliberal tenets on NGOs, social services, and civil society in the South African context. During this time, Dr. Ornellas participated in several research projects as an independent consultant for Madestar, IRD, USAID, FHI360, Re a Aga and other individual contracts. These consultations involved fieldwork in the areas of social policy, ECD, academic writing support, and project evaluation in the fields of budget performance, education and employment, HIV/AIDS, economic empowerment, social welfare, workforce strengthening, capacity development, and TB continuum of care in the mining sector. Alongside research, Dr. Ornellas has extensive dissemination experience, including international lectures and presentations, as well as publishing several peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.
• Lizette Monteith, National Pharmaceutical Services Manager, Kheth’Impilo
Lizette Monteith is the Pharmaceutical Services Manager for the Kheth’Impilo Pharmacist Assistant program. Since 2011, the program has provided over 440 South African youth from marginalized communities with a nationally accredited qualification. The program has achieved a 95% completion rate and 99% of graduates are employed as Pharmacist Assistants. The program was ranked among the top 25 social innovations in the Global South in 2016 by the Social Innovation in Health Initiative, an international collaboration between the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town, the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University and the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, hosted at the World Health Organization in Geneva. Currently Lizette is developing and implementing new program innovations in areas including medicine management and clinical care of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis patients. Lizette graduated as a Pharmacist from North-West University in 2000, and has since had the opportunity to work across a range of pharmaceutical and medical-related industries in three diverse countries.
• Karen Katz, Deputy Director, Health Services Research group, FHI 360
Karen Katz, MPA, MSc, is the Deputy Director of the Health Services Research group at FHI 360. She has over 25 years of programmatic research experience focusing on improving access to and the quality of reproductive, maternal and child health services in Africa and Asia. Her main practice areas have been family planning, HIV and nutrition. Her research has concentrated on contraceptive introduction and method continuation; evaluations of programs, service delivery and interventions; and identifying the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents and other most-at-risk populations. She also provides extensive capacity-building support for developing country researchers. A skilled manager, she has over 15 years of experience in organizational, financial and personnel management. She holds an MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medical specializing in Medical Demography and an MPA from New York University with a concentration in Health Policy.
• Roy Natherson, Healthcare Analyst, OutReach HealthCare Consulting
Dr. Natherson is an analyst who works mainly in the HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis areas and conducts both qualitative and quantitative secondary research with and for organizations active in these fields. A key investigative area is the determination of how effectively and efficiently donor funds are deployed in the pursuit of program objectives and impact goals through expenditure analysis. Tangential to this is a focus on expenditure reporting and budgeting systems that directly monitor expenditure on key program indicators. Other areas of interest include measuring adherence to medication among miners with TB and people living with HIV and gap analyses of primary healthcare delivery programs and systems in order to determine program performance, assess impact and to determine the cost of access to these programs for communities.