The notion of performance has become dominant in health programming, whether
being embodied through pay-for-performance schemes or through other incentive-based
interventions. In this article, we seek to unpack the idea of performance and performing in a
dialogical fashion between field-based evaluation findings and methodological considerations.
We draw on episodes where methodological reflections on performing ethnography
in the field of global health intersect with findings from the everyday practices of working
under performance-based contracts in the Senegalese supply chain for family planning. While
process evaluations can be used to understand contextual factors influencing the implementation
of an intervention, we as anthropologists in and of contemporary global health have an
imperative to explore and challenge categories of knowledge and practice. Making room for
new spaces of possibilities to emerge means locating anthropology within qualitative global
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