When Communities Participate in Primary Health Care: a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Community Health Worker Program in the Philippines

10.04.2018 - 17:15 bis 18:45
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Art der Veranstaltung: 
AB A-Kolloquium
Dr. Roman Hoffmann
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
Vienna Institute of Demography & Austrian Academy of Sciences

In many developing countries, public health systems are confronted with a significant shortage in professional health workers. Community Health Workers (CHWs) have been suggested as a cost-effective, inclusive solution to address this issue. In recent years, several microfinance institutions (MFIs) have started to implement small-scale health programs with CHW components. So far, little is known about the impacts and implementation barriers of these initiatives. In this study I evaluate an MFI-led CHW program in the Philippines using a cluster-randomized controlled trial design. I find evidence for positive effects of the intervention on the dissemination of information and health monitoring. Acceptance of the program in the communities, which is mainly influenced by the CHW’s social networks and the existing health infrastructure, is a key driver of program success. Based on the results, I derive policy recommendations that are relevant for community-based health programs in similar contexts.