The strategic use of data is central to the science of delivery, and the performance of Results-Based Financing programs is systematically monitored and evaluated using a combination of quantitative and qualitative data. This data is then used to make informed decisions about program design and implementation, or as a springboard for further inquiry. Quantitative operational data is collected for many RBF programs using “performance dashboards”. Operational data highlights trends in program performance based on quality scores and indicator achievement.
Collected either on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual basis, operational data allows for “real-time” program analysis at the facility, regional and national levels. The quantities of each indicator are logged in the dashboard in each reporting period. Once entered in the system, quantitative data can be viewed by individual facilities or aggregated within an administrative unit (e.g. district, council, county, province level). Similarly, quality scores can be viewed per facility or averaged within an administrative unit.
While providing a very powerful management tool for health system administrators, performance dashboards also enhance project transparency and accountability: PBF dashboards are publicly available in many countries in which PBF has been/is being implemented.
Completed Impact Evaluations and Emerging Lessons
The learning portfolio of the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund (HRITF) comprises 29 rigorous impact evaluations, and 10 assessments of Results-Based Financing (RBF). While evaluations are at different stages from early design to end-line analysis and dissemination, there is an increasing number of evaluations of HRITF-funded pilot projects reaching completion and providing evidence on various aspects of RBF programs in maternal and child health. These studies and learning activities provide an excellent opportunity to both shine a light on the “black box” of RBF and drive the future RBF learning agenda.