We are happy that the field work of the population panel group started successfully in the end of January 2022. As part of the research consortium for the SHPI Phase 2, the population panel group assesses eligible households’ health conditions and needs, their health care services utilization, and their preferences concerning the design of the outpatient department (OPD) insurance scheme.
In total 16 enumerators, who were trained extensively and participated in pilot runs during the visit of the German research team to Pakistan in November 2021, have been working in the field. They were divided into groups of two and visited the households directly at their homes. The data collection took place in 4 selected districts (Malakand, Mardan, Kohat and Chitral) and involved randomly sampled households of the poorest 21% of population. Also, local field mobilizers were employed to facilitate the identification of the households, to verify the work progress and to get consent for data collection.
The data collection consisted of a survey questionnaire and of an experimental part, which was either a discrete choice experiment or a vignette experiment. All interviewed households were asked to complete the survey, which included questions on the baseline health of the families, the kind of health services they usually use and the related costs, and whether they are using the SHPI inpatient insurance of the Phase 1 of the project. Then, half of the households participated in a discrete choice experiment (DCE). This allowed the population working group to explore the beneficiaries’ needs and preferences for features of the OPD insurance, such as preferences over providers, services, and disease packages, and their willingness to pay for the insurance. The other half of the households conducted vignette experiments to analyze the beneficiaries’ healthcare seeking behavior, measuring in particular medical and financial uncertainty that influences whether, where, and when to seek care.
The field work was completed in mid March and in total around 600 households were interviewed and will be re-visited regularly. This is a sizeable number, considering the extensive data that had to be collected from each respondent. The challenges faced along the way provided relevant experience for the whole research team to improve the future waves of data collection. The population panel working group is very grateful for the hard work of the enumerators and would like to thank all of them for the success of their work.