Impact of Pre-commitment to Delivery Facilities on the Quality of Maternal and Neonatal Care | Jessica Cohen, Harvard & Margaret McConnell, Harvard
Even when pregnant women have access to facilities for safe delivery, behavioral biases may prevent them from utilizing high quality facilities. This project addresses inconsistent time preferences, which cause a woman to discount the future value of safe, facility-based child delivery. While women may prefer to deliver at a quality facility, lack of careful planning in advance can creates barriers at the time of delivery, shifting outcomes away from the woman’s preference.
Researchers at IPA and Harvard are exploring the impact of pre-commitment devices on a woman’s timely arrival at a facility for delivery. These commitment devices were given in the form of cash transfers, both conditional and unrestricted. This project is co-funded by another donor, which has covered baseline survey data collection. The subaward from BERI will fund high quality audits of the delivery facilities within the study region, to understand whether pre-commitment devices nudge women to choose higher quality facilities for delivery. Second, it will analyze perceptions of “hard quality” (i.e. technical capability) versus “soft quality” (i.e. respectful care) at each facility, and how this influences women’s decisions about child delivery.
Study ongoing, results forthcoming (2016 – ).