Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 33, Supplement 1, pp S202–S215 | Cite as

Tracking university graduates in the workforce: Information to improve education and health systems in Tanzania

  • Senga PembaEmail author
  • Sarah B Macfarlane
  • Rose Mpembeni
  • Alex J Goodell
  • Ephata E Kaaya


With a severe shortage of highly trained health professionals, Tanzania must make the best possible use of available human resources and support training institutions to educate more graduates. We highlight the overlooked but significant role of universities in collecting, managing, and using human resources data in Tanzania and in other countries struggling to build their health workforces. Although universities, professional councils, ministries of health, education, and finance, and non-governmental organizations in Tanzania all maintain databases that include details of health professionals’ education, registration, and employment, they do not make the information easily accessible to one another. Using as an example Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences – the leading public institution for health professions education in Tanzania – we explore how training institutions can gather and use data to target and improve the quality of education for increasing numbers of graduates. We specifically examine the substantial challenge universities face in locating more members of each graduating class and conclude with recommendations about how the situation can be improved.


health professions education workforce tracer study graduate survey human resources information systems Tanzania 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Senga Pemba
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah B Macfarlane
    • 2
  • Rose Mpembeni
    • 3
  • Alex J Goodell
    • 4
  • Ephata E Kaaya
    • 5
  1. 1.Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health, Mlabani PassageIfakaraTanzania
  2. 2.School of Medicine, and Global Health Sciences, University of California San Francisco (UCSF)San FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.School of Public HealthDar es SalaamTanzania
  4. 4.Phillip R. Lee Institute of Health Policy Studies, UCSF
  5. 5.School of Medicine, MUHAS

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