de Walque, Damien

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Education, Macroeconomic and Structural Policies, Health
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Last updated January 31, 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 551 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Invitations, Incentives, and Conditions: A Randomized Evaluation of Demand-Side Interventions for Health Screenings
    (Elsevier, 2022-03) de Walque, Damien ; Chukwuma, Adanna ; Ayivi-Guedehoussou, Nono ; Koshkakaryan, Marianna
    This randomized controlled trial investigates the impact of four demand-side interventions on health screening for diabetes and hypertension among Armenian adults. The interventions are 1) personalized invitations from a physician, 2) personalized invitations with information about peer screening behavior, 3) personalized invitations with a labeled but unconditional financial incentive, and 4) personal invitations with a conditional financial incentive. Compared with the control group, interventions 1 to 3 led to a significant increase in the screening rate of about 15 percentage points for diabetes and hypertension. The highest impact was measured for intervention 4 leading to a 31.2 percentage point increase in both screenings.
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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.
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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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    Incentivizing Quantity and Quality of Care: Evidence from an Impact Evaluation of Performance-Based Financing in the Health Sector in Tajikistan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-07) Ahmed, Tashrik ; Arur, Aneesa ; de Walque, Damien ; Shapira, Gil
    This paper presents the results of an impact evaluation of a performance-based financing pilot in rural areas of two regions of Tajikistan. Primary care facilities were given financial incentives conditional on general quality and the quantity provided of selected services related to reproductive, maternal and child health, and hypertension-related services. The study relies on a difference-in-difference design and large-scale household and facility-based surveys conducted before the launch of the pilot in 2015 and after three years of implementation. The performance-based financing pilot had positive impacts on quality of care. Significant impacts are measured on facility infrastructure, infection prevention and control standards, availability of equipment and medical supplies, provider competency, provider satisfaction, and even some elements of the content of care, measured through direct observations of provider-patient interactions. While the communities in the performance-based financing districts reported higher satisfaction with the local primary care facilities, and despite the improvements in quality, the findings suggest moderate effects on utilization: among the incentivized utilization indicators, only timely postnatal care and blood pressure measurements for adults were significantly impacted.