This book contains a method for assessing the financial, educational and management systems and policy context, essential for strategic planning and policy-development for human resources for health. This tool has been developed as an evidence-based comprehensive diagnostic aid to inform policy-making in low and middle-income countries in regards to human resources for health. It does so in three stages by assessing the current status of the health workforce and capacities for health workforce policy implementation with a particular focus on four aspects finance, education, management and policy-making; by identifying priority requirements and actions based on the current status of the health workforce; and by showing how to sequence policies and draw up a prioritized action plan for human resources for health. This tool is designed as an initial diagnostic instrument to be used in a process of developing a national strategic plan on human resources for health. It helps to provide a rapid initial assessment and a preliminary strategic plan as part of a longer-term and sustained process of human resources planning. It is not intended to assess the appropriateness of a workforce's skills mix or the technical quality of pre-service curricula, which are the subjects of several other assessment tools. Rather, it focuses on determining - and providing sequenced recommendations to improve upon- system capacities to increase the effectiveness of the health workforce.