Searching for common ground on incentive packages for community workers and volunteers in Zambia

National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council, Zambia, Report

National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council, Zambia

Publication details

Number of pages: 68
Publication date: 2009
Languages: English


This report, authored by Dr Kanyanta Sunkutu and Dr Namposya Nampanya-Serpell, reflects on appropriate incentive package for the provision of care at the community level in Zambia.

HRH shortages, international migration and a high burden of HIV contribute to determine an over-stretching of the capacity of the public health system and the informal and unplanned delegation of service delivery tasks to volunteers operating at community level. Various incentives structures are applied to motivate community health workers.

In the current Zambian context, complete standardization of incentive packages across the board is not feasible and/or enforceable, especially since the national response to HIV is multisectoral. Nevertheless, the authors acknowledge that it should be possible to identify some “common ground” for providing incentive packages to community workers and volunteers. To this end, the authors have drawn on current practice in Zambia to present a number of options for incentive packages based on monetary, non-monetary and combined approaches.

The report also argues that a CHW Programme Development and Implementation Committee should be established and housed within the MOH and/or NAC to plan, budget, and implement a large-scale CHW recruitment, training and retention programme, including incentive packages.