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Data for Impact builds on MEASURE Evaluation success

October 05, 2018 11:00 AM
Dr. Eva Silvestre

The long-running MEASURE Evaluation project has been awarded $48 million for Data for Impact (D4I), which begins this month. Dr. Eva Silvestre, clinical assistant professor of global community health and behavioral sciences, is the principal investigator for Tulane's portion of this project. The goal of the new project is to help low-resource countries gather and use information to strengthen health policies and programs and improve the health of citizens.

The MEASURE Evaluation is a global health project based at the Carolina Population Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). The new D4I project, which ends in September 2023, draws on MEASURE Evaluation’s experience over 25 years working in low-resource countries to improve the monitoring and evaluation of their health programs.

The D4I award will help low- and middle-income countries—primarily in sub-Saharan Africa—to increase their capacity to use available data and generate new data to build evidence for improving health programs, health policies, and decision making. The project has the following aims:

  • Generate evidence needed for health decision making through the appropriate use of routine and non-routine data sources and develop new understanding through innovative, rigorous, and efficient methods, approaches, and tools
  • Build the capacity of local institutions to conduct analyses and evaluations, on their own or in collaboration with others
  • Help decision makers use data to improve global health programs and policies through compelling, user-friendly, and actionable visualization and communication approaches

“We know that data are essential for good decisions on health policies and programs. The timing of this award will allow us to support USAID’s new strategic approach to help countries on their journey to self-reliance, by building local capacity to conduct evaluations and provide critical evidence on their own,” said Heidi Reynolds, MPH, PhD, clinical associate professor in UNC’s Department of Maternal and Child Health, and director of evaluation for MEASURE Evaluation. Dr. Reynolds will lead the new D4I project.

D4I will enhance data collection and analysis practices, and facilitate the use of available data for impact. UNC will lead the D4I project with MEASURE Evaluation partners ICF, John Snow, Inc., Palladium, and Tulane University, which already work together to help countries strengthen health systems to generate high-quality health information used at local, national, and global levels.

"We are excited to be part of this award which aligns well with Tulane’s strengths in the evaluation of health programs," says Silvestre. "The first activity under this award, an impact evaluation of an integrated health program in the Democratic Republic of Congo,  is already in the planning stages and benefiting from Tulane’s long relationship with the Kinshasa School of Public Health."

The D4I Associate Award supplements MEASURE Evaluation’s current five-year, $232 million cooperative agreement with USAID (UNC’s largest-ever research award).

USAID administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.