HSG satellite session: Pay for Performance, how, why, where and what?

Call for abstracts to participate at a one-day workshop on P4P

05 June 2018

Location: ACC Liverpool

Conference: This workshop is organised as a one-day satellite session for the Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research: Advancing Health Systems for All in the SDG Era.  

Date: 9th October 2018 from 9am to 5pm

Deadline for abstracts: 22nd June 2018


The provision of financial incentives to healthcare providers to improve service delivery, known as Pay for performance (P4P) or Results Based Financing (RBF), is a global phenomenon that first emerged in the United States, Europe and other high income countries, and subsequently spread to low and middle income countries (LMIC). P4P is the subject of growing international research. However, the community researching P4P tends to divide into those concentrating on high income countries, and those working on LMIC. While dialogue within these geographic groupings is substantive, there is very limited exchange or shared learning across groupings. This limits the potential for learning across contexts which could strengthen our understanding of where P4P works and why, as well as enhance the research methods that we use to study P4P.  

The motivation behind this one-day event is to facilitate learning by breaking down geographic boundaries and looking at the research methods and results emerging from the study of P4P in both high and low and middle income contexts, and encouraging dialogue between researchers and policy makers across income settings.  

Overview of the Workshop

This one-day event will bring together pay for performance researchers and policy makers working in high as well as low and middle income settings, to learn from each other.  Participants will examine research methods and results emerging from these different settings, and reflect on how they are shaped by the research and policy context. This session will contribute to knowledge on the range of research methods that can be used to study P4P and improve our understanding of how the design and implementation of P4P affects population and provider sub-groups, to strengthen health systems for all.

The day’s discussions will centre around four key themes, which resonate among P4P researchers and policy makers across geographic settings:

  1. Incentive design - how does it vary and how do these variations affect outcomes; why was P4P introduced, and what local adaptions were made to the design and why?
  2. P4P spillover effects – how does P4P affect services that are not directly incentivised?
  3. How does the context within which P4P is introduce moderate the effects of P4P?
  4. How sustainable are P4P programmes: how do the effects of such programmes vary over time?  What happens when P4P schemes cease?

Workshop Format

The event will involve a series of sessions reflecting on the key themes of the event. Each session will involve presentations from competitively selected abstracts and appointed speakers from high and LMIC settings, with academic and policy maker chairs and discussants reflecting on lessons learnt.  To facilitate engagement across participants small groups will be convened around each of the topics to bring in wider experiences and reflect on lessons learnt and research priorities.  The event will close with concluding reflections on what has been learnt throughout the day.  We also expect a series of policy briefs to result from discussions and the emergence of new research networks. 


The event is targeted at academics researching P4P in high and LMIC settings as well as policy makers (funders, implementers from these settings).  

If you would like to present research or experiences relating to the four key themes, please send an abstract to roxanne [dot] kovacs [at] lshtm [dot] ac [dot] uk; please respect the standard format: title; name and affiliation of the speaker; names and affiliations of co-investigators; a summary (of 300 words maximum with a clear description of your research methods). The deadline for submission is June 22nd 2018, midnight GMT. Abstracts will be selected based on clarity and relevance to the event themes. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the review process by July 1st. Please also get in touch if you would be interested in chairing or discussing sessions related to specific themes.  

Participation is limited to 100 attendants, and pre-registration is required to secure a place.  More information regarding registration for the workshop will be shared in due course.

For those who are attending the for the Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Researchor any of the conference events in addition to this one day workshop, conference registration will be required. Please visit the conference website for more information about how to register and registration costs.


For those who are only attending this one day workshop, and no other conference-related events, conference registration is not required, and there is no charge for attending the event.

The workshop is supported by the PEMBA: Performance-based financing mechanisms for health system strengthening in Africa project, funded by the MRC, ESRC, DfID and the Wellcome Trust, the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, Manchester Centre for Health Economics and the RESYST Consortium.  We do not have funding to support attendance of speakers and presenters.

Find out more about RESYST's work on P4P from a health systems perspective