de Walque, Damien

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Education, Macroeconomic and Structural Policies, Health
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Last updated September 26, 2023
Damien de Walque received his Economics from the University of Chicago in 2003. His research interests include health and education and the interactions between them. His current work is focused on evaluating the impact of financial incentives on health and education outcomes. He is currently evaluating the education and health outcomes of conditional cash transfers linked to school attendance and health center visits in Burkina Faso. He is also working on evaluating the impact of HIV/AIDS interventions and policies in several African countries. He is leading two evaluations of the impact of short-term financial incentives on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs): individuals who test negatively for a set of STIs receive regular cash payment in Tanzania, while in Lesotho they receive lottery tickets. On the supply side of health services, he is managing a large portfolio of impact evaluations of results-based financing in the health sector. He has also edited a book on risky behaviors for health (smoking, drugs, alcohol, obesity, risky sex) in the developing world.
Citations 578 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
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    The use of video vignettes to measure health worker knowledge: Evidence from Burkina Faso
    (Elsevier, 2018-09) Banuri, Sheheryar ; de Walque, Damien ; Keefer, Philip ; Haidara, Ousmane Diadie ; Robyn, Paul Jacob ; Ye, Maurice
    The quality of care is a crucial determinant of good health outcomes, but is difficult to measure. Survey vignettes are a standard approach to measuring medical knowledge among health care providers. Given that written vignettes or knowledge tests may be too removed from clinical practice, particularly where “learning by doing” may be an important form of training, we developed a new type of provider vignette. It uses videos presenting a patient visiting the clinic with maternal/early childhood symptoms. We tested these video vignettes with current and future (students) health professionals in Burkina Faso. Participants indicated that the cases used were interesting, understandable and common. Their performance was consistent with expectations. Participants with greater training (medical doctors vs. nurses and midwives) and experience (health professionals vs. students) performed better. The video vignettes can easily be embedded in computers, tablets and smart phones; they are a convenient tool to measure provider knowledge; and they are cost-effective instruction and testing tools.
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    Female Sex Workers Use Power Over Their Day-to-Day Lives to Meet the Condition of a Conditional Cash Transfer Intervention to Incentivize Safe Sex
    (Elsevier, 2017-05) Cooper, Jan E. ; Dow, William H. ; de Walque, Damien ; Keller, Ann C. ; McCoy, Sandra I. ; Fernald, Lia C.H. ; Balampama, Marianna P. ; Kalolella, Admirabilis ; Packel, Laura J. ; Wechsberg, Wendee M. ; Ozer, Emily J.
    Female Sex Workers are a core population in the HIV epidemic, and interventions such as conditional cash transfers (CCTs), effective in other health domains, are a promising new approach to reduce the spread of HIV. Here we investigate how a population of Tanzanian female sex workers, though constrained in many ways, experience and use their power in the context of a CCT intervention that incentivizes safe sex. We analyzed 20 qualitative in-depth interviews with female sex workers enrolled in a randomized-controlled CCT program, the RESPECT II pilot, and found that while such women have limited choices, they do have substantial power over their work logistics that they leveraged to meet the conditions of the CCT and receive the cash award. It was through these decisions over work logistics, such as reducing the number of workdays and clients, that the CCT intervention had its greatest impact on modifying female sex workers’ behavior.
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    A Randomized Control Trial of a Peer Adherence and Nutritional Support Program for Public Sector Antiretroviral Patients
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-07) Booysen, Frederik ; de Walque, Damien ; Over, Mead ; Hashimoto, Satoko ; de Reuck, Chantell
    Access to antiretroviral treatment has expanded rapidly in South Africa, making it the country in the world with the largest treatment program. As antiretroviral treatment coverage continues to rise in resource-constrained settings, effective community-based adherence support interventions are of central importance in ensuring the long-term sustainability of treatment. This paper reports the findings from a randomized control trial of a peer adherence and nutritional support program implemented in a public health care setting in South Africa's antiretroviral treatment program. The analysis assesses the impact of these peer adherence and nutritional support interventions on self-reported adherence, timeliness of clinic and hospital visits, and immunologic response to antiretroviral treatment. Peer adherence and nutritional support improved the timeliness of adults´ clinic and hospital visits for routine follow-up while on antiretroviral treatment. Peer adherence support impacted positively on immunologic response to antiretroviral treatment. Scale-up of effective and sustainable community-based, peer-driven adherence and nutritional support interventions should form part of the United Nations AIDS Treatment 2.0 strategy's community mobilization and health system strengthening pillar.
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    Encouraging Service Delivery to the Poor: Does Money Talk When Health Workers Are Pro-Poor?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-12) Banuri, Sheheryar ; de Walque, Damien ; Keeper, Philip ; Robyn, Paul Jacob
    Do service providers respond to pecuniary incentives to serve the poor? Service delivery to the poor is complicated by the extra effort required to deliver services to them and the intrinsic incentives of service providers to exert this effort. Incentive schemes typically fail to account for these complications. A lab-in-the-field experiment with nearly 400 health workers in rural Burkina Faso provides strong evidence that the interaction of effort costs, ability, and intrinsic and extrinsic incentives significantly influences service delivery to the poor. Health workers reviewed video vignettes of medical cases involving poor and nonpoor patients under a variety of bonus schemes. Bonuses to serve the poor have less impact on effort than bonuses to serve the nonpoor; health workers who receive equal bonuses to serve poor and nonpoor patients see fewer poor patients than workers who receive only a flat salary; and bonuses operate largely through their influence on the behavior of pro-poor workers. The paper also presents novel evidence on the selection effects of contract type: pro-poor workers prefer the flat salary contract to the variable salary contract.
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    Looking into the performance-based financing black box: Evidence from an impact evaluation in the health sector in Cameroon
    (Oxford University Press, 2021-07) de Walque, Damien ; Robyn, Paul Jacob ; Saidou, Hamadou ; Sorgho, Gaston ; Steenland, Maria
    Performance-based financing (PBF) is a complex health systems intervention aimed at improving the coverage and quality of care. Several studies have shown a positive impact of PBF on health service coverage, often coupled with improvements in quality, but relatively little is known about the mechanisms driving those results. This article presents results of a randomized impact evaluation in Cameroon designed to isolate the role of specific components of the PBF approach with four study groups: (i) PBF with explicit financial incentives linked to results, (ii) direct financing with additional resources available for health providers not linked to performance, (iii) enhanced supervision and monitoring without additional resources and (iv) a control group. Overall, results indicate that, when compared with the pure control group, PBF in Cameroon led to significant increases in utilization for several services (child and maternal vaccinations, use of modern family planning), but not for others like antenatal care visits and facility-based deliveries. In terms of quality, PBF increased the availability of inputs and equipment, qualified health workers, led to a reduction in formal and informal user fees but did not affect the content of care. However, for many positively impacted outcomes, the differences between the PBF group and the group receiving additional financing not linked to performance are not significant, suggesting that additional funding rather than the explicit incentives might be driving improvements. In contrast, the intervention group offering enhanced supervision, coaching and monitoring without additional funding did not experience significant impacts compared to the control group.
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    Looking into the Performance-Based Financing Black Box: Evidence from an Impact Evaluation in the Health Sector in Cameroon
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-08) de Walque, Damien ; Robyn, Paul Jacob ; Saidou, Hamadou ; Sorgho, Gaston ; Steenland, Maria
    Performance-based financing is a complex health system intervention aimed at improving coverage and quality of care. This paper presents the results of an impact evaluation in Cameroon that seeks to isolate the role of specific components of the performance-based financing approach on outcomes of interest, such as explicit financial incentives linked to results, additional resources available at the point of service delivery (not linked to performance), and enhanced supervision, coaching, and monitoring. Four evaluation groups were established to measure the effects of each component that was studied. In general, the results indicate that performance-based financing in Cameroon is an efficient mechanism to channel payments and funding to the provider level, leading to significant increases in utilization in the performance-based financing arm for several services (child and maternal vaccinations and use of modern family planning), but not for others, such as antenatal care visits and facility-based deliveries. However, for many of those outcomes, the differences between the performance-based financing group and the additional financing group are not significant. In terms of quality, performance-based financing was found to have a significant impact on the availability of essential inputs and equipment, qualified health workers, reduction in formal and informal user fees, and increased satisfaction among patients and providers. However, there was a clear effect of additional financing, irrespective of whether it was linked to incentives, in combination with reinforced supervision through performance-based financing. This result suggests that enhanced supervision and monitoring on their own are not sufficient to improve maternal and child health outcomes.