Health workforce

How to Conduct a Discrete Choice Experiment for Health Workforce Recruitment and Retention in Remote and Rural Areas: A User Guide with Case Studies

book cover

Publication details

Number of pages: 94
Publication date: 2012
Languages: English
ISBN: 978 92 4 150480 5


Understanding what matters for health workers when they choose a work place is key to developing appropriate recruitment and retention strategies, particularly in remote and rural areas. Following up from the Global Policy recommendations on “Increasing access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention”, WHO worked with the World Bank and CapacityPlus to develop a guide to help better understand these preferences.

The Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) methodology described in this User Guide is a quantitative research method that can measure the strength of preference and trade-offs of the health workers toward different job characteristics that can influence their decision to take up rural postings.

This User Guide offers step-by-step advice on the application of DCE in identifying policy interventions appropriate to that country context in addressing health workforce shortages in remote and rural areas. The User Guide also includes two case studies from Tanzania and Uganda that demonstrate the application of this method in a real life context.

The user guide can be used by researchers and policy makers confronted with the challenges of rural imbalances, as such or as part of a broader training programme on health services research and evaluation. It is hoped that its use will contribute to a more systematic analysis and a deeper understanding of the factors that inhibit recruitment and retention of qualified staff in remote and rural regions, and will help countries develop their own unique solutions to lifting this problem that are well-adapted to their country context.