Understanding how Financial Incentives Can Affect the Success of a Program

Publish Date: March 2014
Author: MCHIP
Language: English

This paper provides a better understanding of financial incentives to optimize the behavior of providers and clients for maternal and neonatal health. It explores the ways in which the behaviors of key health system actors are driven in part by financial incentives.

There has been considerable interest in recent years in how financial incentives drive behavior, and how they can be harnessed to address and modify behaviors and social norms among health care providers and clients.The authors’ goal is to give program managers an in-depth understanding of how health financing policy interventions could affect the implementation of maternal and newborn health (MNH) activities.

Specifically, the paper aims to:

  • Help national health planners and program managers understand how the health financing environment contributes to shaping the behavior of providers and clients. Financial incentives that alter this environment could have both positive and negative, or intended and unintended, consequences on behavior.
  • Propose an approach for analyzing the incentive environment in order for MNH program managers to consider how to address perverse incentives and/or leverage financial incentive reforms, which may enhance the impact of their interventions.

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