Lao Pena, Christine

Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice
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Health and nutrition, Health finance, Intrahousehold allocation
Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Christine Lao Peña is a Senior Human Development Economist in the World Bank’s Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice. She has extensive operational experience in social sector projects (including a Learning and Innovation Loan that provided productive grants to poor rural women’s self-health groups; Sector-wide Investment Programs in Health and Education, Multi-sectoral Projects including early childhood development, HIV-AIDS, and nutrition interventions; and Development Policy and Poverty Reduction Loans) in several countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. Her current work focuses on health financing and innovations in health service delivery including results-based management mechanisms, and multisectoral approaches to improving maternal and child nutrition and health, mainly in the Latin America and Caribbean Region. Before joining the World Bank, she was at the International Food Policy Research Institute where she worked on intra-household and nutrition and food security issues.  She also worked in the University of the Philippines on a number of applied research topics including non-tariff barriers to trade in the local food and transportation. She has more than twenty years of applied research experience on a broad range of topics, with an emphasis on health, nutrition, early childhood development, gender and poverty.  She has published book chapters, papers and journal articles on health program reviews; intra-household resource allocation; and gender, food security, and development.  A Filipino national, she has a Ph. D. and M.A. in Economics from Boston University.
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Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Contracting and Providing Basic Health Care Services in Honduras : A Comparison of Traditional and Alternative Service Delivery Models
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-06) Garcia Prado, Ariadna ; Lao Peña, Christine
    This study uses data from health facility and patient exit surveys carried out in 2006 in Honduras to examine the characteristics of two basic health care provision models: a traditional Ministry of Health (MOH) public health care one versus a community based one also known as 'alternative' or 'public-social'. The author compare these models based on access, quality, costs, productivity, and management autonomy. While the alternative model has higher unit costs for drugs, it also has higher labor productivity. The fact that alternative providers are held accountable through performance-based contracts and that their personnel are hired on a contractual basis and can be demoted or even fired may account for their stronger performance relative to traditional providers whose personnel are centrally hired civil service staff. The findings support the alternative model as a viable option to expand services to other areas of Honduras that lack health services, compensating for the MOH's insufficient capacity to deliver and manage health care services in poor and remote areas. Some elements of this model such as performance-based agreements and other incentives can be also incorporated in the management and implementation of the traditional MOH health units in order to improve their performance. As the alternative models increase in number, it will be important to continue to evaluate their performance and to also analyze whether facility performance differs based on type of management (for example, whether the facility is managed by a municipality or an association of municipalities, a non-government organization, or community based organization).
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    Improving Access to Health Care Services through the Expansion of Coverage Program : The Case of Guatemala
    (World Bank, Washington DC, 2013-01) Lao Pena, Christine
    Since the signing of the 1996 Peace Accords, Guatemala has made efforts to establish economic and political stability, and to improve its social indicators. The country's Constitution states that access to health care is a basic right of all Guatemalans. In practice, however, it has been challenging for the Government of Guatemala to guarantee this right using public facilities. As a result, it has been trying to improve access to health services using both Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MOH) facilities and staff, and alternative health service providers, particularly nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). This case study reviews the experience implementing the Expansion of Coverage Program (Programa de Extension de Cobertura, PEC) that was established by the Government of Guatemala in 1997 to improve coverage of health and nutrition services to poor, rural, and largely indigenous areas by contracting NGOs. It describes its origins; its package of services; contracting, financing, monitoring, and supervision mechanisms; and its contributions to improving access and strengthening primary health care services in Guatemala. It also discusses opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed to continue to improve health services coverage in the country.
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    Toward More Efficient and Effective Public Social Spending in Central America
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-05-18) Acosta, Pablo A. ; Almeida, Rita ; Gindling, Thomas ; Lao Pena, Christine
    Central America has come a long way both in terms of economic and political stability. Increasingly the region is focusing on implementing productivity-enhancing reforms as well as supporting reductions in poverty and inequality. This report analyzes recent trends in public social spending in Central America from 2007 to 2014, conducts international benchmarking, examines measures of the effectiveness and efficiency of social spending, and discusses the quality of selected institutions influencing this spending. We examine total social spending, as well as detailing its four components: public spending on the education, health, and social protection and labor (SPL) sectors. In analyzing public social spending, the report addresses three crucial policy issues: (a) how to improve the coverage and redistributional incidence of public social spending; (b) how to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of public social spending; and (c) how to strengthen the institutions governing public spending in the social sector. While based heavily on a series of recent analytical social spending studies in six countries in the subregion—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama—this report also takes a broader regional perspective and includes some comparisons to countries in other regions.
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    Using Allocative Efficiency Analysis to Inform Health Benefits Package Design for Progressing towards Universal Health Coverage: Proof-of-Concept Studies in Countries Seeking Decision Support
    (PLoS, 2021-11-29) Fraser-Hurt, Nicole ; Hou, Xiaohui ; Wilkinson, Thomas ; Duran, Denizhan ; Abou Jaoude, Gerard J. ; Skordis, Jolene ; Chukwuma, Adanna ; Lao Pena, Christine ; Tshivuila Matala, Opope O. ; Gorgens, Marelize ; Wilson, David P.
    Countries are increasingly defining health benefits packages (HBPs) as a way of progressing towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Resources for health are commonly constrained, so it is imperative to allocate funds as efficiently as possible. We conducted allocative efficiency analyses using the Health Interventions Prioritization tool (HIPtool) to estimate the cost and impact of potential HBPs in three countries. These analyses explore the usefulness of allocative efficiency analysis and HIPtool in particular, in contributing to priority setting discussions.