The workshop content is structured around pre-identified mechanisms that interact on demand/supply sides to produce good health outcomes.
Mechanisms are the underlying factors that facilitate or deter human behavior in markets, including healthcare markets. Evidence to be presented at the workshop is structured around three categories of mechanism — information, motivation, and ability — which are relevant to both demand and supply sides. These categories of mechanism are present at the various points of interaction between producers and consumers of health services which are required for quality health services and improved health outcomes.
Briefly, information refers to the knowledge that consumers and producers of health services have at each point of interaction. Motivation, then, is what is required to translate that information into action. Finally, ability dictates whether or not action can be carried out successfully. By identifying the constraints to information, motivation, and ability on both demand and supply sides at each point of interaction, we can begin to isolate key bottlenecks within the healthcare market. We can then target these with specific activities which, though small in relation to a project as a whole, may have big implications on our overall ability to achieve target outcomes.
For example, if we identify motivation on either the demand or the supply side of clinic visits as an impediment to achieving positive final health outcomes, at any of the points of interaction between the consumers and the producers of these services, we can begin to think about the kinds of specific mechanisms we may put in place to address this bottleneck. Incentives, financial or non-financial, can be the solution. Research shows that providing incentives to households to seek formal healthcare services (demand side incentives) or to health workers to improve their performance (supply side incentives) are very effective. Using the above framework, we can identify the specific points in the causal chain which are preventing the system as a whole from realizing its potentials, and introduce innovations to address these. These innovations can then translate into large impacts on our final outcomes of interest.