Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers and Free Provision of Maternal Health: Nepal’s Safe Delivery Incentive Program

Session: Demand-Side Financing

Presenter: Elina Pradhan, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

In improving maternal health outcomes and utilization of maternal health services, different programs have been implemented to address the demand-side as well as the supply-side of maternal health care. In this study, we examine the differential impact of two programs–a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program and a program combining CCT and user-fee exemption for skilled birth attendance in Nepal. Employing a difference-in-difference model, we find that although skilled birth attendance increases significantly during the intervention period, the increases in skilled birth attendance in the combined intervention group was not significantly higher than in the CCT-only program. The added incentive of the user-fee exemption did not significantly increase skilled birth attendance. However, conditional on areas with adequate road networks, the combined intervention led to higher skilled birth attendance compared to the CCT-only program.