Authors: Debra Singh, Joel Negin, Michael Otim, Christopher Garimoi Orach and Robert Cumming
Community health workers (CHWs) have been proposed as a means for bridging gaps in healthcare delivery in rural communities. Recent CHW programmes have been shown to improve child and neonatal health outcomes, and it is increasingly being suggested that paid CHWs become an integral part of health systems. Remuneration of CHWs can potentially effect their motivation and focus. Broadly, programmes follow a social, monetary or mixed market approach to remuneration. Conscious understanding of the differences, and of what each has to offer, is important in selecting the most appropriate approach according to the context.
The objective of this review is to identify and examine different remuneration models of CHWs that have been utilized in large-scale sustained programmes to gain insight into the effect that remuneration has on the motivation and focus of CHWs. A MEDLINE search using Ovid SP was undertaken and data collected from secondary sources about CHW programmes in Iran, Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Five main approaches were identified: part-time volunteer CHWs without regular financial incentives, volunteers that sell health-related merchandise, volunteers with financial incentives, paid full-time CHWs and a mixed model of paid and volunteer CHWs.
Resource Type: Case studies