Carolina-led global health consortium awarded $180 million from U.S. Agency for International Development

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For immediate use: Tuesday, July 1, 2014

 

Award funds another five years of the Monitoring and Evaluation to Assess and Use Results (MEASURE) Evaluation project, which evaluates public health programs around the world to ensure government funds are being used effectively.

 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Carolina Population Center has received a five-year, $180 million award for its Monitoring and Evaluation to Assess and Use Results (MEASURE) Evaluation project from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

 

The award – which goes into effect today (July 1) and is the second largest ever received by UNC-Chapel Hill – supports Phase IV of an effort begun in 1997. With possible associate awards from USAID missions and bureaus in other countries, the total award could grow to more than $300 million.

 

MEASURE Evaluation is USAID’s flagship project for monitoring and evaluating spending on international global health. The project is implemented by a team of organizations led by UNC-Chapel Hill, working with Futures Group, ICF International, John Snow Inc., Management Sciences for Health and Tulane University.

 

“MEASURE Evaluation has played a key role in an incredibly successful international effort to bend the epidemic curve. The global community has taken what was an upward trajectory for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and turned it into a downward one,” said Project Director Jim C. Thomas, Ph.D., an associate professor of epidemiology in UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. “As we continue to address global health issues, we are honored to be entrusted by USAID to carry on the work of MEASURE Evaluation, and we look forward to a strong partnership with USAID for years to come.”

 

“Including this $180 million award, MEASURE Evaluation has received nearly $600 million in federal funding over the last 17 years,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “This funding is a direct result of the talented and hard-working team of researchers, faculty and students behind the project. We couldn’t be more proud of the great work being led by the Carolina Population Center and their partners.”

 

To date, MEASURE Evaluation has focused on building the foundations and capacity to enable monitoring and evaluation in developing countries. The objective of Phase IV is to work toward sustainability of that work, strengthening host-country systems that generate high-quality health information used for decision-making at local, national and global levels. Progress toward this objective will contribute to improved health programs and policies, which ultimately impact overall health outcomes. The project will achieve this objective by concentrating on achieving four results:

 

  1. Strengthened collection, analysis and use of routine health data;
  2. Improved country-level capacity to manage health information systems, resources and staff;
  3. Methods, tools and approaches improved and applied to address health information challenges and gaps; and
  4. Increased capacity for rigorous evaluation.

 

“We will respond to the complexity of this task by applying more systems thinking. There are many moving parts affecting each other and systems thinking provides ways to achieve progress in the midst of complexity,” Thomas said.

 

About MEASURE Evaluation

MEASURE Evaluation is USAID Global Health Bureau’s primary vehicle for supporting improvements in monitoring and evaluation in population, health and nutrition worldwide. It is also funded by PEPFAR to work on HIV and AIDS programs. MEASURE Evaluation has worked in 80 countries to identify data needs, collect and analyze technically sound data, and use that data for health decision making. MEASURE Evaluation is a consortium of organizations led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Partners include ICF International, Tulane University, Management Sciences for Health, Futures Group and John Snow Inc. Each partner brings unique and complementary capabilities to the consortium and their roles vary according to a country’s needs.

 

About the Carolina Population Center

Based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Carolina Population Center (CPC) is a community of scholars and professionals collaborating on interdisciplinary research and methods that advance understanding of population issues. CPC faculty and students work together on path-breaking research to address population issues in 85 countries and across the U.S., as well as in central North Carolina. CPC was established in 1966 and has evolved as a preeminent population center, known for high-quality research and training. The center provides the intellectual environment and resources to support faculty, allowing truly interdisciplinary projects that transcend departmental lines and geographic boundaries. The elected faculty fellows constitute the center’s permanent and vital core, and the center devotes its resources to facilitating their research.

 

MEASURE Evaluation contact: Leah D. Wyatt, (919) 445-0443, leah.wyatt@unc.edu

News Services contact: Thania Benios, (919) 962-8596, thania_benios@unc.edu