Research Publications & Evaluations

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Undoubtedly, scientific research has impacted policies and practices in international development. Our publications and evaluations provide insights, evidence, and knowledge drawn from our research programs. See below for research-focused resources and tools.


  • COVID-19 Case Study: How USAID-funded Scientists at Higher Education Institutions Conducted Research During the Pandemic
    This case study describes the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on research conducted  by USAID-funded scientists in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) as well as steps  taken by USAID and an implementing partner to support these researchers. This case  study helps in understanding how COVID-19 has affected higher education institutions,  and in identifying approaches that can be used to support LMIC researchers when  confronted by shocks such as pandemics.
  • Higher Education Partnerships to Strengthen Health Systems in Liberia
    Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most severe health crises in the past century. However, in the context of Liberia and the West Africa region, it is one of multiple infectious disease outbreaks that have posed challenges in the last decade. While the Ebola epidemic exerted extreme stress on Liberia’s health systems, it also uncovered several areas that could be strengthened to provide future resiliency. In particular, Liberia’s higher education institutions were identified as being key components of the country’s overall future strength, particularly in terms of medical education and specialized care for infectious disease patients. The Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research Liberia program strengthened Liberia’s sole medical school to build resilience against unexpected shocks.
  • Malawian Higher Education and Local Solutions in Crisis Response
    Higher education institutions faced financial difficulties stemming from unpaid student  fees and a loss of revenue from teaching, learning, research, community outreach, and publication activities. Despite these challenges, several higher education institutions in Malawi demonstrated their critical role in addressing the pandemic by advancing research and innovation. Notably, USAID partner Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) embraced this role, developing innovative solutions. This case study underscores the importance of partnerships during crises in expanding capacity for research and innovation within higher education institutions and outlines the broad societal benefits of this increased capacity.
  • ResilientAfrica Network's Response in Uganda
    This case study focuses on the example of the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) - a program based at the Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda originally established with  USAID support - and illustrates how RAN’s multifaceted response to the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the unique, crucial role that higher education institutions play within national and international development, particularly during times of crisis.
  • The program and policy change framework: A new tool to measure research use in low- and middle-income countries
    How can we measure the social and economic outcomes of research that traditional metrics can’t capture? The Research Division in the Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub has developed a tool, known as the Program and Policy Change Framework, to track and quantify the impact of research activities on international development. It has been useful as a first step in measuring the research impacts of over 300 USAID projects.  Read our September 2020 journal article published in Research Evaluation on the Program and Policy Change framework to learn more about this innovative tool.
  • Opportunities and Challenges for Research Translation in South and Southeast Asia
    Research translation is the process by which evidence acquired from research is appropriately used to guide the work of policymakers and practitioners and the future work of researchers. A review of literature was conducted between May to August of 2019 to understand the pathway between research produced and research used to inform program and policy development in the Southeast Asian region. This report summarizes findings from the literature review that was also used to inform the agenda for the 2nd Annual UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-USAID Joint Meeting on Research and Impact. This report can be of use to researchers, policymakers, and development practitioners globally to advance the appropriate use of research and evidence to improve development outcomes.
  • Report on the 2nd Annual Workshop on Research Impact: Research Translation
    There is no single approach to translating research for policy impact. In October 2018, the Office of Research joined the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), an agency that invests in science and research in the United Kingdom, to plan and host a workshop in Panama on measuring research impact. This first joint workshop brought together researchers, policymakers, donors, and NGOs to discuss the limitations of and best practices for measuring the impact of research. This report outlines the importance of research translation, summarizes key discussions from the workshop, and provides recommendations for action based on the experience of participants.
  • Measuring impact of research and innovation for global challenges
    The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and USAID joined together to host a workshop on October 25 to 26, 2018 in Panama City, Panama. The primary goal of the workshop was to share best practice and understanding across funder, researcherand policy maker perspectives on how to better measure the impact of research and innovation for development focused on global challenges. This report summarizes the key discussions, learnings and recommendations that emerged over the two days.
  • Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) Impact Report
    Through HESN, our partners have harnessed tools to create deep community-based and multi-stakeholder partnerships, as well as economic empowerment. The HESN program’s Development Labs have achieved impact and influence beyond their institutions by leveraging external donors and working with the private sector, foundations, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, and other development agencies. The report was conducted at the five year point of the HESN program and documents the successes and lessons learned.


  • Research and Innovation (RI) Fellowship Program Review
    The purpose of the RI Fellowship Program was to enhance the research capacities of USAID partner countries’ scientists and help develop innovative approaches to meet the world’s development challenges.The 2020 review of the RI Fellowship Program looked at the accomplishments and lessons from the program between 2014 to 2018. The RI Fellowship Program Review provides information about the program, including its objectives, processes, and participants; highlights the main lessons learned from the program; and finally provides general recommendations to enhance the program’s achievements.
  • Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Midterm Performance Evaluation
    The 2017 mid-term evaluation of the PEER program was used to inform the trajectory of the program. The evaluation contributed to the U.S. Global Development Lab’s objective to document program effectiveness to better inform programming decisions through analysis and action-oriented recommendations for improvements in: management and implementation; stakeholder engagement; results; partnerships; and strategies to promote the PEER program research application.
  • The Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) Midterm Performance Evaluation
    The 2016 midterm evaluation provides an evidence-based assessment of the HESN program. The overall performance of the HESN Labs on the three objectives outlined in the Results Framework was high over the first three years with the strongest performance occurring in the area of improving data quality, access, and analytics to advance evidence-based development decision making. Through HESN funding and in partnership with the key development actors (public sector, private sector, local community), HESN Labs have provided data and analytic tools, developed transformative innovations and approaches, and built the capacity of the ecosystem for development innovation.

Last updated: August 10, 2022

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