In 2015, the Zambian government and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) signed an agreement in which Sida committed to funding a program for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH). The program includes a results-based financing (RBF) model that aims to reward Zambian districts for improved district-wide results on relevant indicators with additional funding. We aimed to describe stakeholders' knowledge of the RBF model and perceptions of the incentive structure during the first 18 months of the program's implementation. This study illuminates the possible pitfalls of implementing an RBF scheme without giving attention to all necessary steps of the process. A qualitative case study was used and included a review of documents, in-depth interviews, and observations. From February-April 2017, we conducted 37 in-depth interviews, representing the views of 12 development partner agencies, government departments, and health facility staff throughout Zambia. We used a qualitative framework analysis. Findings show that the Zambian government and Sida had different perceptions on what levels of the health system RBF will incentivize and that most districts and hospital administrators interviewed were unaware of the indicators that the RBF was part of the RMNCAH program at all. The lack of knowledge about the RBF scheme among respondents suggests the possibility that the model did not ultimately have the necessary preconditions to create an effective incentive structure. These results demonstrate the need for improved communication between stakeholders and the importance of sufficiently planning an RBF model before implementation.
- Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi