Cash to Increase Facility-Based Deliveries in the Philippines
In 2021-2022, the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) in the Philippines introduced Cash for Maternal Health – Emergency Fund in the conflict-affected Maguindanao province. The Cash for Maternal Health project was designed to facilitate safe pregnancy and delivery. Cash was provided after delivery in a health facility to 850 women as a means of encouraging facility delivery, most often at a rural primary level health facility. Cash for deliveries was part of a holistic emergency response that also supported maternal health programming via numerous interventions including the provision of equipment and kits to facilities, the conduct of medical missions, and the provision of community- based maternal health information sessions. To assess the impacts of the maternal cash transfer program, UNFPA and the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health collaborated to conduct a mixed-methods evaluation from December 2021 to June 2022.
The findings of this evaluation on the integration of cash assistance into UNFPA Philippines maternal health programming within the Maguindanao emergency response shows that the use of CVA can help strengthen uptake of health services. The cash incentive contributes to women and adolescents visiting health facilities more often throughout their pregnancies, becoming more comfortable doing so, sharing their intention to return to the facilities for subsequent pregnancies, and encouraging other women to do the same.