Motivating volunteer health workers in an African capital city

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Community Health Workers (CHWs) are central to health systems. Still, they are typically unpaid volunteers in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper follows all the CHWs in the capital city of Guinea-Bissau, who are non-salaried, and tests the impact of non-financial incentives on health indicators. We analyze two randomized interventions for CHWs: (i) an honorific award aimed at raising their social status; (ii) a video treatment aimed at increasing their perceived task significance. While employing administrative and survey data, we find that the social status intervention, differently from the task significance one, causes clear improvements in household health, particularly for young children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103096
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Africa
  • Community Health Workers
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Motivation
  • Non-financial incentives
  • Social status
  • Task significance


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