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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Exploring the effectiveness of the output-based aid voucher program to increase uptake of gender-based violence recovery services in Kenya: A qualitative evaluation

Rebecca Njuki*, Jerry Okal, Charlotte E Warren, Francis Obare, Timothy Abuya, Lucy Kanya, Chi-Chi Undie, Ben Bellows and Ian Askew

Author affiliations

Population Council, P.O Box 17643–00500, Nairobi, Kenya

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2012, 12:426  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-426

Published: 12 June 2012

Abstract

Background

Few studies in Africa have explored in detail the ability of output-based aid (OBA) voucher programs to increase access to gender-based violence recovery (GBVR) services.

Methods

A qualitative study was conducted in 2010 and involved: (i) in-depth interviews (IDIs) with health managers, service providers, voucher management agency (VMA) managers and (ii) focus group discussions (FGDs) with voucher users, voucher non-users, voucher distributors and opinion leaders drawn from five program sites in Kenya.

Results

The findings showed promising prospects for the uptake of OBA GBVR services among target population. However, a number of factors affect the uptake of the services. These include lack of general awareness of the GBVR services vouchers, lack of understanding of the benefit package, immediate financial needs of survivors, as well as stigma and cultural beliefs that undermine reporting of cases or seeking essential medical services. Moreover, accreditation of only hospitals to offer GBVR services undermines access to the services in rural areas. Poor responsiveness from law enforcement agencies and fear of reprisal from perpetrators also undermine treatment options and access to medical services. Low provider knowledge on GBVR services and lack of supplies also affect effective provision and management of GBVR services.

Conclusions

The above findings suggest that there is a need to build the capacity of health care providers and police officers, strengthen the community strategy component of the OBA program to promote the GBVR services voucher, and conduct widespread community education programs aimed at prevention, ensuring survivors know how and where to access services and addressing stigma and cultural barriers.

Keywords:
Voucher program; Gender-based violence recovery services; Health service utilization; Kenya