Incentives for Immunisations in Sierra Leone
Take up of preventive health care has been shown to be highly sensitive to price. Randomized evaluations in India and Pakistan are currently testing how immunization responds to different incentives. Both use mobile payment platforms to provide incentives. However, for the poorest communities, mobile payments are often infeasible. This project tests the feasibility of incorporating immunization incentives into common maternal and infant nutritional support programs. The program will be delivered by a partnership between the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), with technical assistance from J-PAL Africa and IPA on design and monitoring. The team will collect high quality independent data to determine whether the key assumptions in the theory of change hold in this environment. In particular, can nutritional supplements (mainly fortified cereal) be delivered in a reliable and timely way to remote clinics? Can clinic staff effectively incorporate distribution of food supplements into immunization protocols? Does the food reach the intended recipient? After the first year of the program, which is expected to reach 60,000 pregnant and nursing women and 40,000 children aged 6 to 23 months, WFP and MoHS intend to scale it up in additional districts. If the program is successful, WFP is also interested in incorporating the model into its work with governments in other countries.