The merits of using financial incentives to improve clinical quality have much appeal, yet few studies have rigorously assessed the potential benefits. The uncertainty surrounding assessments of quality can lead to poor policy decisions, possibly resulting in increased cost with little or no quality improvement, or missed opportunities to improve care.

A new Evidence to Policy note on the impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program in the Philippines to improve health and education for the poor. The evaluation found that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has reduced stunting among young children, increased family spending on health and education, and raised student enrollment in preschool and primary school. The results also found that the program wasn’t as effective with older children: Those aged 12 and above weren’t more likely to enroll in school, although attendance did rise for those already enrolled.

The specific objectives of the program are to: a) keep children in school, b) keep children healthy, and c) invest in the future of children.

It reflects the Government's commitment to promoting inclusive growth by investing in human capital to improve education and health outcomes for poor children and pregnant women. The program is based on the premise that poverty is not about income alone but is multi-dimensional, and factors such as access to basic social services and social environments matter.

Supply-side and demand-side pay for performance (P4P), consisting of payments to Women’s Health Teams (WHTs) and to pregnant women, is being implemented in the Philippines with the goal of supporting facility-based childbirths and increasing the role of skilled attendance at delivery among disadvantaged women.

A combination of performance-based grants formed part of new government strategies to strengthen women’s health and safe motherhood services (WHSM) for disadvantaged women.

World Bank Project Information

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