This rapid review looks at available literature on the experiences and approaches of external agencies in relation to support for retention allowances for health and education professionals in countries which risk losing them. Most of the available literature uncovered by this review looks at donor support for retention allowances for health sector workers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The report argues that donors have generally been reluctant to support retention allowances because they feel salaries are a government responsibility and because of concerns over the sustainability of such support. However, in a number of cases, the scale of the crisis has been so great that they have stepped in to provide support. It is generally agreed that this support cannot be ongoing and that measures should be put in place to replace external financing with additional domestic revenues.
Case studies from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Zambia are examined.