A Framework for the Strategic Analysis and Management of the Brain Drain of African Health Care Professionals: An Innovative Systems Approach

The global mobility of skilled workers has increased in recent years due to the expansion of the knowledge economy, the progressive globalisation of markets and companies, the growing demand for scarce skills, and wider political and economic issues. This increase in global mobility is a practical reality of the interdependence that affects us all and is not necessarily a problem except where critical skills needed by source countries are lost and are not readily replaced – a brain drain. This human resource crisis requires an urgent, collective, continental approach if we are to successfully grapple with the challenges facing us. This paper presents a framework for the systematic analysis of the causes and impacts of the emigration of African health care professionals. It also provides points of leverage for different policy options, with special emphasis on knowledge and innovation networks, in keeping with the theme of the conference. The outline of the document is guided by the interrelationships of the different variables, each of which is systematically dissected and analysed.