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- Ending Extreme Poverty
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- Working in Crises and Conflict
THE NEED FOR RELIABLE DATA
Health policymakers, international donors, program managers, service providers and other health system stakeholders need reliable data to make evidence-based decisions. Key indicators and country-specific metrics to monitor HIV treatment, care and support are collected. Improved data dissemination and use provides the opportunity for evidence-based decision-making, better programs, improved service quality and ultimately better health outcomes.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supports the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programs in three overarching areas of Strategic Information (SI): Health Information Systems, Monitoring and Evaluation and Surveys and Surveillance.
Health Information Systems (HIS) is responsible for the collection, flow and management of data. USAID supports this work in a variety of ways, including the following:
- The Performance of Routine Information System Management (PRISM) framework consists of tools to assess Routine Health Information System (RHIS) performance and identify factors that affect RHIS.
- The Routine Health Information Network (RHINO) is a collaboration of governments, donors, technical groups and private voluntary organizations, the purpose of which is to strengthen evidence-based decision-making.
- USAID works with host country governments at the local, subnational and national levels to strengthen health management information systems (HMIS). One example of this work is in Ethiopia, where a scaled-up HMIS is expected to improve planning, management and decision-making.
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) activities build and strengthen capacity to successfully and sustainably collect, analyze and use information to improve health outcomes. USAID works on a variety of activities across the M&E spectrum, including the following:
- Building capacity of local institutions, including universities and training networks, government and civil society, in monitoring and evaluation.
- Building capacity of individuals through both pre-employment and employment training.
- Impact Evaluations: USAID supports the implementation of impact evaluations to build evidence for effective and efficient interventions. Additionally, USAID works to build evaluation capacity in the field.
- Performance evaluations: Through multiple mechanisms, USAID supports the implementation of performance evaluations to assess the effectiveness of USAID-funded programs and partners. One example of this is the Ethiopia Health Sector Financing Reform [PDF, 724KB] evaluation.
- Formative assessments and special studies: USAID works to carry out formative assessments, special studies, evaluations and other types of research to inform the planning and implementation of programs. A recent example is the Formative Assessment of Most-at-Risk Populations in South Sudan [PDF, 822KB], carried out by a team of USAID/Washington staff, local researchers and representatives from the Government of South Sudan. Through its partner, MEASURE Evaluation, USAID conducted an evaluation of the Women’s Justice and Empowerment Initiative, an example of a qualitative evaluation and gender work.
- Developing national evaluation plans: USAID works in collaboration with host governments to develop and implement national evaluation plans to improve the collection, analysis and use of health data. USAID/Ghana and the Government of Ghana developed the Evaluation Plan for Ghana’s National HIV Prevention Program for Key Populations.
- Developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks: These frameworks, such as the Organizing Framework for a Functional National HIV Monitoring and Evaluation System, monitor programs’ implementation and progress.
- Performing data quality assessments: To ensure the reporting and use of high quality HIV and AIDS data, USAID works with its Missions and partners to perform data quality assessments. These assessments help improve data quality for more accurate and timely reporting.
- Advancing innovative methods and approaches: USAID provides guidance and technical assistance to decisionmakers around the world in the use and adaption of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
- Supporting data dissemination and use: USAID requires the dissemination of evaluation findings to ensure that information is accessible to the public (see the Development Experience Clearinghouse). Best practices, lessons learned and promising practices are shared to promote information exchange.
Surveys and Surveillance (S&S) support systematic data collection, analysis and interpretation to provide information about the overall HIV epidemic and its changes over time. USAID-sponsored S&S activities collect data from nationally representative populations, at-risk populations and service delivery locations. Examples of USAID S&S activities include the following:
- Population-based surveys such as the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and the AIDS Indicator Survey (AIS) collect HIV prevalence data and information on risk behaviors among the general population on a national and subnational scale.
- Behavioral Surveillance Surveys (BSS): BSS collect HIV prevalence data and information on risk behaviors among high-risk populations.
- Priorities for Local AIDS Control Efforts (PLACE): The PLACE method is a rapid assessment tool used to monitor and improve AIDS prevention program coverage in areas where HIV transmission is most likely to occur.
- Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS): LQAS is a sampling and analysis methodology for rapid population-based surveys.
- Service Provision Assessment (SPA): SPAs are health facility assessments that provide a comprehensive overview of a country’s health service delivery, including availability of HIV testing services, care and support and treatment services.
CURRENT PROGRAMMATIC HIGHLIGHTS
GH Tech Bridge provides the Bureau for Global Health (GH), Regional Bureaus and USAID field missions with the necessary technical expertise to design, manage and evaluate program activities.
MEASURE DHS is USAID/GH’s main source of nationally representative and cross-nationally comparable Demographic and Health Survey data. It addresses host countries’ emerging needs for data to guide policies and programs.
MEASURE Evaluation Phase III is the Bureau for Global Health’s primary vehicle for supporting improvements in M&E in population, health and nutrition worldwide. The project aims to improve the collection, analysis and presentation of data to promote better use.
U.S. Census Bureau Interagency Agreement – The Census Bureau supports USAID in monitoring the spread of HIV and AIDS and understanding its effect on development. The HIV/AIDS Surveillance Data Base is a collection of HIV prevalence studies.
- USAID Evaluation Policy (2011)
- Preparing Evaluation Reports [PDF, 320KB]
- GAO: Agencies Can Enhance Evaluation Quality, Planning, and Dissemination [PDF, 678KB]
- Sample of Evaluation Reports Conducted as Part of the USAID Forward Reform Effort
MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REPORTING GUIDANCE (MER)
Last updated: October 24, 2013