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    Understanding community health worker employment preferences in Malang district, Indonesia, using a discrete choice experiment

    Gadsden, T, Sujarwoto, S, Purwaningtyas, N, Maharani, A ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5931-8692, Tampubolon, G, Oceandy, D, Praveen, D, Angell, B, Jan, S and Palagyi, A (2022) Understanding community health worker employment preferences in Malang district, Indonesia, using a discrete choice experiment. BMJ Global Health, 7 (8). e008936. ISSN 2059-7908

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    Background Community health workers (CHWs) play a critical role in supporting health systems, and in improving accessibility to primary healthcare. In many settings CHW programmes do not have formalised employment models and face issues of high attrition and poor performance. This study aims to determine the employment preferences of CHWs in Malang district, Indonesia, to inform policy interventions. Methods A discrete choice experiment was conducted with 471 CHWs across 28 villages. Attributes relevant to CHW employment were identified through a multistage process including literature review, focus group discussions and expert consultation. Respondents' choices were analysed with a mixed multinomial logit model and latent class analyses. Results Five attributes were identified: (1) supervision; (2) training; (3) monthly financial benefit; (4) recognition; and (5) employment structure. The most important influence on choice of job was a low monthly financial benefit (US∼2) (β=0.53, 95% CI=0.43 to 0.63), followed by recognition in the form of a performance feedback report (β=0.13, 95% CI=0.07 to 0.20). A large monthly financial benefit (US∼20) was most unappealing to respondents (β=-0.13, 95% CI=-0.23 to -0.03). Latent class analysis identified two groups of CHWs who differed in their willingness to accept either job presented and preferences over specific attributes. Preferences diverged based on respondent characteristics including experience, hours' worked per week and income. Conclusion CHWs in Malang district, Indonesia, favour a small monthly financial benefit which likely reflects the unique cultural values underpinning the programme and a desire for remuneration that is commensurate with the limited number of hours worked. CHWs also desire enhanced methods of performance feedback and greater structure around training and their rights and responsibilities. Fulfilling these conditions may become increasingly important should CHWs work longer hours.

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