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What will it take to improve the performance of health systems in low-income countries--to increase the use of essential preventive services like immunization and prenatal care, to ensure adherence to TB and AIDS treatment, to reduce health worker absenteeism and to improve the use of data for decision-making? As donors, national governments and NGOs seek innovative ways to use resources to strengthen health care delivery, opportunities exist to go beyond traditional input-oriented approaches of buying drugs, building facilities, and training staff. Introducing performance incentives, in which a reward is provided to providers, patients or both when health-related targets are achieved, has dramatically improved key health indicators in a range of settings.
In a new book from CGD, Rena Eichler, Ruth Levine and members of the Working Group on Performance-based Incentives take a close look at the pioneering experiences with supply- and demand-side incentives, and draw conclusions about the ways in which performance incentives can be used as part of a broad strategy for system strengthening--as well as the mistakes to avoid in design and implementation.
On June 16, 2009, CGD hosted the launch event of Performance Incentives for Global Health: Potential and Pitfalls featuring co-authors, Rena Eichler,President, Broad Branch Associates and Ruth Levine, Senior Fellow and Vice President for Programs and Operations, Center for Global Development. Tore Godal,Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Norway, provided remarks and a discussion followed about real-world application of performance incentives moderated by Lawrence MacDonald, Vice President, Communications and Policy Outreach, Center for Global Development. Panelists included Karen Cavanaugh,Health Systems Management Analyst, USAID; Kavitha Viswanathan, South Asia Region, Health, Nutrition and Population, World Bank, Ferdinando Regalia, Principal Advisor, Vice-presidency for Sectors and Knowledge, Inter-American Development Bank; and Kevin Volpp,Associate Professor of Medicine and Health Care Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.