Enhancing Motivation of Family Planning Service Providers - Policy Brief

Publication date: 2016

The National Plan for Health Human Resources Development (NPHHRD, 2008-2015) of the Mozambican Ministry of Health stipulates ‘improving staff distribution, motivation, and retention’ as one of the priority strategic areas. Among the strategies identified are:  “Develop a salary, subsidy, and incentive strategy specific to health workers within the public administration; […]  Understand the capacity for intervening to improve health worker motivation.” In line with this, we explored how and to what extent motivation can be optimized, and the impact this can have on avoiding stock-outs and improving service quality. Several activities were implemented during 10 months at 15 health facilities in Maputo Province (Manhiça and Marracuene districts), with the aim of monitoring and improving health workers’ motivation and supply management of 6 family planning methods (Microlut pill, Microgynon pill, implant, IUD, Depo-Provera and female condom): 1. Monthly audits - In all 15 health facilities, data from supply registers (stock cards) were collected and stock- counts were carried out for the 6 contraceptives. The information was also used to assign credits: health centres earned credits by having a stock card for all 6 contraceptives, by having no errors in the calculations made on the card, and by not reporting a stock-out during the month. 2. Monthly evaluation reports - Feedback on earned credits was provided to 10 of the 15 health facilities. This helped them to identify their weaknesses or encouraged them to continue good practices regarding monitor- ing contraceptives. 3. Material incentives – Five out of the 10 health centres that received a monthly evaluation report were able to use the obtained credits to acquire small items for the health facility such as furniture or medical equipment. Results were assessed using the monthly audit data, and surveys and qualitative interviews with health workers. 1. Supply management improved in all health care facilities, mainly as a result of the monthly audits which were perceived as motivating and supportive. 2. Health facilities receiving a monthly evaluation report tended to improve more rapidly, indicating the im- portance of feedback, acknowledgment and recognition of their accomplishments. 3. Finally, health care workers who obtained material incentives reported that they were extra motivated to ac- quire these extra benefits, although the data did not show a significant difference in this group in comparison to the others. Stock-outs did not disappear during the intervention period, although the 10 health centres that received monthly evaluation reports had less frequent stock-outs. In general, stock-outs occurred more for those family planning methods that are less used or have lower demand: there were very few stock-outs of contraceptive pills and Depo-Provera (the two most popular methods), while implants, IUDs and especially female condoms were often not available in the health centres. Our project showed that supportive supervision is key in improving health care providers’ motivation and supply manage- ment skills. Continuous coaching, pointing out strengths and identifying problems with potential solutions, may have a major impact on health workers’ motivation to reduce stock-outs and increase the quality of family planning services more generally. Extra attention should go to preventing stock-outs of family planning methods that are less used, given that these include the highly effective longer-acting methods, and that these stock-outs could be contributing to the lower demand. Enhancing motivation of family planning service providers as a lever to avoid stock-outs and increase quality of service  International Centre for Reproductive Health—Ghent University July 2016 info@icrh.org www.icrhb.org De Pintelaan 185 UZP114, 9000 Gent, BELGIUM +32 9 332 3564 www.icrhm.org Rua das Flores no 34, Impasse 1085/87, Maputo, MOZAMBIQUE +258-21320507 Manhiça and Marracuene districts Su p p ly m an ag em en t q u al it y  HIGH LOW  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 start months end Family planning usage St o ck -o u ts HIGH LOW    We scored supply management quality based on  keeping stock cards  no calculation errors  no reported stock-out Monthly audits Material incentives Evaluation report Maputo more information: ICRH. Enhancing motivation of family planning service providers as a lever to avoid stock-outs and increase quality of service.(2016) available at www.icrhb.org. We observed an improvement in supply management …  Commonly used methods are less prone to stock-outs.  Stock-outs may cause low uptake, rather than or in addition to low demand.  Health care providers need to be stimulated to both offer and order all methods consistently. LOW HIGH Female condoms Intra- uterine devices Contraceptive pills Injectables Through supportive supervision, health care workers felt recognized and appreciated which encouraged them to improve supply manage- ment and hence the quality of their services. … that was mainly due to monthly audits. MOZAMBIQUE The approach we used We studied usage and availability of methods This project was funded by PATH on behalf of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. The views expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the views of PATH or the RHSC.  15 health centres in Manhiça and Marracuene districts, Mozambique were allocated into 3 groups.  Activities to increase motivation and encourage stock monitoring were rolled out.  Data was collected to assess contraceptive supply management on a monthly basis.

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