Recruiting and Motivating Community Health Workers: A National Field Experiment in Zambia
In collaboration with the government of Zambia, researchers are designing and evaluating alternative strategies to recruit, motivate, and retain a new cadre of civil servants: community health assistants (CHAs). CHAs will be recruited from their home communities, will undergo a year of formal training, and then will return to their communities, where they are expected to be serve as the first line of care for Zambians of all ages. During the first phase of the recently launched national CHA program, the Government recruited 300 CHAs from seven of Zambia's nine provinces. The Government is currently in the process of training these CHAs and in June 2012, they will be deployed into the local communities. Using a RCT design, researchers have implemented two recruitment strategies to attract different types of agents to the post, and five different non-monetary performance reward schemes to incentivize their learning during the training program. Researchers are now seeking funds to implement different performance rewards when the CHAs are deployed to the field in June. This evaluation will directly inform how best to motivate and retain the 5,000 CHAs to be deployed by 2018.