Economic evaluation of a combined microfinance and gender training intervention for the prevention of intimate partner violence in rural South Africa
Health Policy and Planning
Objective Assess the cost-effectiveness of an intervention combining microfinance with gender and HIV training for the prevention of intimate partner violence (IPV) in South Africa. Methods We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis alongside a cluster-randomized trial. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of the intervention in both the trial and initial scale-up phase. Results We estimated the cost per DALY gained as US$7688 for the trial phase and US$2307 for the initial scale-up. The findings
... le-up. The findings were sensitive to the statistical uncertainty in effect estimates but otherwise robust to other key assumptions employed in the analysis. Conclusions The findings suggest that this combined economic and health intervention was cost-effective in its trial phase and highly cost-effective in scale-up. These estimates are probably conservative, as they do not include the health and development benefits of the intervention beyond IPV reduction. Keywords Violence against women, health economics, health behaviour, empowerment KEY MESSAGES There is increasing interest in the development of interventions that in resource-poor settings combine health with economic and social development initiatives such as microfinance. Little evidence currently exists of the economic viability of these types of initiatives. This study evaluated a combined microfinance and gender training intervention for the prevention of intimate partner violence in rural South Africa. It was found to be cost-effective in the pilot phase and highly cost-effective in scale-up. This study suggests that proven development initiatives such as microfinance represent ideal vehicles for value-adding public health interventions and that some form of public subsidy to support and strengthen their use in such roles is warranted.