Non-Financial Incentives for Voluntary Community Health Workers: A Qualitative Study
The Ethiopia health extension program extends its reach through a diverse network of voluntary Community Health Workers (vCHWs), who spread health messages and practices to families residing in every part of a community or kebele. One of the objectives of the Last 10 Kilometers (L10K) project is to ensure the sustained engagement of these volunteers through non-financial incentives (NFIs). The NFIs proposed by L10K are mechanisms that recognize vCHWs' work; support from Health Extension Workers in the form of ongoing mentoring, training and follow-up, certification, performance reviews, and support by kebele and woreda (i.e., district) leaders. Successful communities and families are rewarded, celebrations are organized periodically, badges and ID cards are provided - in addition to other identification methods like posting their photographs at public places, as well as the provision of refreshments during performance review meetings. Through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, this study explores the potential efficacy of NFIs proposed by the project. The results of the study outline factors motivating vCHWs, indicate other NFI mechanisms for consideration, and suggest programmatic recommendations. Yared Amare, JSI/Last 10 Kilometers Project, 2009.
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