Library Presentations Review of MMT Payments to Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in Sheikhpura, Bihar

Review of MMT Payments to Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in Sheikhpura, Bihar

05 Dec 2011 1754
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An ASHA or Accredited Social Health Activist is a trained community health worker reaching out to mothers and newborns in rural India with home-based Post Natal Care and other health services under the National Rural Health Mission. These ASHAs are entitled to performance based incentives for the services they provide. However, the ASHAs generally face problems such as untimely payments, uncertainty in disbursement date, cheque clearance delay, and long waiting time at the bank branch. The Norway India Partnership Initiative (UNOPS-NIPI Programs) has initiated a pilot project to improve the timeliness of payments to ASHA worker's incentives in Sheikhpura district of Bihar using a mobile money transfer (MMT) system. The project is steered by State Health Society Bihar (SHSB), with technical support from Eko Aspire Foundation (the Business Correspondent) and State Bank of India (SBI) and with funding and support from UNOPS-NIPI Programs. The case study summarises the impact of the cash transfer programme on the key stakeholders i.e. ASHA workers and government administration and draws comparison between pre-MMT and post-MMT scenario. The programme has resulted in timely payments to ASHAs and hence improved performance by them. It also has lead to increased efficiency of the staff at block level primary health centres and improved monitoring of the ASHAs.

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