Evaluate for Health (EVALUATE) is a 5-year project implemented by Management Systems International (MSI) designed to assist USAID to measure and improve effectiveness, transparency and optimal use of health resources. The project provides monitoring and evaluation (M&E) support to the entire USAID/Ghana health portfolio. It is made up of three components: 1) conducting evaluations, assessments and studies; 2) supporting performance monitoring and evaluation; and 3) strengthening local capacity for research management.
Under the first component, the project conducts quantitative and qualitative baseline studies, evaluation case studies, performance evaluation, impact evaluations, cross-sector evaluation, survey research and statistical analysis. During the first year of the project, EVALUATE carried out a portfolio-wide health system baseline survey that will be used in the evaluation of activities in health systems strengthening and quality improvement. It also carried out three operations research activities, including a nutritional supplement cost effectiveness study, a Health Indicators in the Savannas Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) exercise and a RING gender study. The project also designs, plans and manages health research symposia for researchers, development partners and government counterparts.
Under the second component, EVALUATE provides technical assistance to USAID, its implementing partners (IP), local partners and Ghana Health Services to improve performance measurement systems and to strengthen performance results. The activities under this component include: establishing an M&E community of practice, arranging IP workshops, creating templates, mapping out geographic information systems, providing technical assistance to USAID, supporting performance management systems, and conducting data quality assessments.
Under the third component, EVALUATE assessed capacity gaps among six local research institutions in order to develop an Organizational Capacity Development Plan for two research centers in 2016. USAID approved the selection of the two local institutions recommended for Phase 1 support with the potential to increase engagement across a wider selection of centers in future years. Capacity building activities will focus on effectively communicating research findings, winning and managing research grants, developing an institutional strategic plan and strengthening the proposal writing and research implementation skills of a select group of junior researchers.