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01.12.2014 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Human Resources for Health 1/2014

Assessment of non-financial incentives for volunteer community health workers – the case of Wukro district, Tigray, Ethiopia

Human Resources for Health > Ausgabe 1/2014
Fisaha Haile, Dejen Yemane, Azeb Gebreslassie
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1478-4491-12-54) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Fisaha Haile, Dejen Yemane and Azeb Gebreslassie contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

FH: Involved in proposal writing, designing, and recruitment and training of supervisors and data collectors, analysis and write-up, and in all stages of the project implementation. He did most of the analysis and write up of the paper. DY: Involved in proposal writing, designing, and recruitment and training of supervisors and data collectors, and approval of the final manuscript. AG: write-up, and manuscript preparation. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.



Volunteer community health workers (VCHW) are health care providers who are trained but do not have any professional certification. They are intended to fill the gap for unmet curative, preventative, and health promotion health needs of communities. This study aims to investigate the non-financial incentives for VCHWs and factors affecting their motivation.


A cross-sectional quantitative study was performed from February to March 2013. A total of 400 randomly selected female VCHWs were included using the district health office registers. Finally, multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the independent predictors of VCHW motivation.


Significant numbers (48%) of study participants have mentioned future training as a major non-financial incentive. Age between 20 and 36 years old (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.18, 2.13), married VCHWs (AOR = 3.84, 95% CI = 1.73, 5.02), presence of children under five years old (AOR = 0.2, 95% CI = 0.09, 0.71), allowing volunteer withdrawal (AOR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.06, 2.47), and establishment of a local endowment fund for community health workers after they left volunteerism (AOR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.05, 1.91) are all factors associated with VCHW motivation.


Future training was mentioned as the prime non-financial incentive. Age, marital status, presence of children under five, allowing volunteer withdrawal, and establishment of a local endowment fund were identified as the independent predictors of motivation. Therefore, considering a non-financial incentive package, including further training and allowing volunteer withdrawal, would be helpful to sustain volunteerism.
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