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Power to the people?: a replication study of a community-based monitoring programme in Uganda

In this replication study, Katherine Donato and Adrian Garcia Mosqueira re-examine the results of an influential 2009 study, Power to the people: evidence from a randomized field experiment on community-based monitoring in Uganda by Martina Björkman and Jakob Svensson. The replication study reinforces community-based monitoring programmes as a promising intervention that may positively influence both provider behaviour and health facility utilisation. The pure replication verifies the original results. The replication research checks the robustness of the original study through examinations of the pre-intervention balance, with an extra focus on participant wealth, vaccination rates, and the history of community-based organisations in the evaluation area. Overall, the replication researchers determine that community-based health interventions are worthwhile for policymakers to continue pursuing.

The original study evaluated the impact of educating people about the health services available in their area and their rights to access those services. It also looked at what influences the quality of care and health outcomes of treated households. The study found treatment communities to be better managed, with lower absenteeism rates, better customer service, and greater use of the facilities. A number of household-level benefits, including children’s nutritional health and under-five mortality, were also identified in the study.