Video Spotlight

"'I'm a Health Worker' - Abduaraman Gidi" made by IntraHealth International.

Marie-Renée B-Lajoie, Jennifer Hulme and Kirsten Johnson

Community health workers (CHWs) have been central to broadening the access and coverage of preventative and curative health services worldwide. Much has been debated about how to best remunerate and incentivize this workforce, varying from volunteers to full time workers. Policy bodies, including the WHO and USAID, now advocate for regular stipends.

This qualitative study examines the perspective of international NGO health programme managers who directly oversee CHW programmes in resource-limited settings. It aims to draw on their common experiences in designing and implementing CHW incentives schemes in order to generate and sustain motivation. This study has two objectives. First, to explore institutional guidelines and approaches to designing CHW incentives, and inquire about how NGO managers are adapting their approaches to working with CHWs in this shifting political and funding climate. Second, to understand the position of stakeholders who design and manage NGO-run CHW programmes on what they consider priorities to boost CHW motivation.

This is the first study to specifically inquire about how NGO managers perceive the concepts of motivation and sustainability in the current political and funding context, and to explore the role of institutional, international and national policies in influencing programme managers and their programme design. Understanding current practices and existing tensions will help inform CHW programme design and policy recommendations at both the local and international level.

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