Task Shifting for a Strategic Skill Mix

Reorganizing skills among cadres is called task shifting (moving skills from one cadre to another) or task sharing (increasing the number of cadres able to perform a skill). Based on a review of the literature and country examples, the brief describes why task shifting is important and highlights some key steps in planning for, developing, and supporting cadres involved in task shifting.

Doctors usually perform male and female sterilization. However, under certain conditions, such as when demand for sterilization exceeds the supply of trained doctors, nurses and midwives with surgical experience can be trained to perform the procedure if a country’s laws and regulations permit. When cadres of health care professionals other than doctors perform the procedure, a doctor should be available for consultation in case of surgical difficulties or complications. The guidance in this brief can be applied to these types of situations that call for task shifting for sterilization programs.

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The Capacity Project