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This presentation highlights the importance of intrinsic motivation in health care delivery, particularly in settings with poor regulation and quality control mechanism. We contrast the intrinsically motivated health worker with intrinsic incentives to perform. Some health workers are motivated to help patients even in difficult situations (intrinsically motivated types), however most health workers respond to intrinsic incentives to perform (intrinsically motivated environments).

Using data from Tanzania, we show that some health workers care about strangers more than others and these health workers provide significantly better care for their patients. On the other hand, a far greater proportion of health workers respond to intrinsic incentives provided by the presence and encouragement of a peer. Even health workers who do not care about the welfare of strangers provide higher quality when they are encouraged by their peers.

This data can be compared and contrasted with data on motivation collected in various formats, including surveys of health workers (opinions surveys, personality tests, and discrete choice surveys), field experiments (RCTs and other policy evaluations), and laboratory experiments (with health workers and general participants). We focus on the types of data that researchers need in order to design effective policies to improve performance in the health care sector. As importantly, we show that data on whether health workers are happy or nice provide little policy guidance without evidence of performance.

This study was funded by Norway through the World Bank Africa program on Human Resources for Health (HRH).

  • measuring motivation to perform (10_12)_0.ppt
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Resource Information

Document Type: (PPT) Download
Author/s: Kenneth Leonard
Countries: Tanzania
Date of Publication: October 2012

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