About the Project

 Difficulty in recruiting and retaining skilled employees in the public sector is a common challenge for rural and remote areas. Making it Work, will implement products and services at scale in at least five case study sites across five countries, using a business model approach applied to a variety of public sector activities (health, education, social work etc.). Local sustainability plans and a knowledege transfer tool will be developed to share experiences and support wider learning.

Making it Work will move forward work developed in Recruit and Retain (R&R) (NPP 2007-13) which investigated the underlying causes of challenges in recruiting and retaining health professionals in rural areas. An output from R&R was a Business model (R&RBM) which recommended solutions be delivered using a systems redesign approach, including seven steps designed to optimise the outcomes of the products and services.

Making it Work partners will implement the R&RBM tailored to local and regional public sector needs, with each regional implementation evaluated as a case study. Local/regional sustainability and viability plans will be created to support on-going stability in the public sector workforce as well as the wider community within the participating areas. An overarching evaluation will be undertaken and used to develop a final deliverable – a knowledge transfer document. This will take the form of a policy framework document highlighting the costs/benefits of the interventions and providing a flexible policy framework, customizable by other jurisdictions interested in replicating the Making it Work successes.

Making it Work is unique in that it proposes to apply a community-focused lens to an administrative problem across multiple public sector activities. The system redesign approach incorporates the engagement of the local community, local businesses and other partners, rather than relying only on the public sector employer and financial incentives for recruiting and retaining the right people to their communities and making it an attractive place for them to stay. Ensuring that case studies undertake a system redesign means that Making it Work will initiate significant interventions in service delivery. The collaborative, multi-case-study approach in international settings allows for analysis and learning about key factors for success that may be universal to many jurisdictions, while also identifying others which may have greater impact in specific settings.


Who we are

There are Working Groups in 5 Northern Periphery Countries Norway, Sweden, Canada, Iceland and Scotland.    

Each working groups consists of Northern, rural, remote professionals with a range of expertise including:

  • Physicians and Health Professionals
  • Hospital CEOs and other Health Care Administrators
  • Regional Health Services Authority Administrators
  • Academics with expertise in Rural Health, Health Services Reform, Rural and Remote Workforce Demographics