Motivating Volunteer Health Workers in an African Capital City

Mattia Fracchia

Nova School of Business and Economics and NOVAFRICA

Teresa Molina-Millán

University of Alicante, NOVAFRICA and IZA

Pedro C. Vicente

Nova School of Business and Economics, NOVAFRICA, and BREAD

ISSN 2183-0843
Working Paper No 2109
May 2021


Community Health Workers (CHWs) are central to health systems. Still, they are typically unpaid volunteers in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper follows all the CHWs in the capital city of Guinea-Bissau and tests the impact of different types of non-financial incentives on health indicators. We analyze two randomized interventions for CHWs: (i) an honorific award aimed at raising their social status; (ii) a video treatment aimed at increasing their perceived task significance. While employing administrative and survey data, we find that the social status intervention, differently from the task significance one, causes clear improvements in household health, particularly for young children.

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