[Excerpt from authors] The human resource (HR) problem in the health sector in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has reached crisis proportions in many countries. Although the gravity of the problem varies across the region, the situation in some countries is so grave that urgent action is needed. A complex set of factors has contributed to this problem, some exogenous, such as the austere fiscal measures introduced by structural adjustment, which often result in cutbacks in the number of health workers. But endogenous factors are also to blame, including misdirected human resource and training policies, weak institutions, and inappropriate structures. Section I of this paper lays out the key features of the HR crisis as gathered from available data and reports. Section II of the paper gathers together a few good practices and mechanisms that have been tried to ease the HR problems in the region. It highlights some opportunities for reform and cites the continuing challenges and risks.