Improvement Methods Toolkit from the USAID ASSIST Project

The USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project (September 2012-June 2020) of the Office of Health Systems in the USAID Bureau for Global Health had as its goal to support health workers and service delivery institutions in USAID-assisted countries to develop sustainable capacity to achieve measurable improvements in care quality.  USAID Missions and Ministries of Health in USAID-assisted countries demonstrated strong demand for ASSIST’s technical support to institutionalize quality improvement capacity in priority programs and regions. 

ASSIST sought to make quality improvement simpler by creating guidance in step-by-step, plain language manuals and by developing a large body of tools and examples (codified improvement knowledge) to help others improve.  ASSIST also demonstrated that using such tools results in faster uptake of improvement methods and better outcomes. 

To achieve the goal of developing country capacity, ASSIST’s country assistance programs drew on one or more evidence-based quality improvement approaches, as appropriate to the technical content of the requested assistance and the country context.  The project focused on improving the effective implementation of high-impact interventions, taking into consideration the needs of marginalized and underserved populations and gender, age, and social differences that affect access to and utilization of care. 

In each long-term country, the project applied an integrated design approach to explicitly define the evidence-based improvement strategies to be implemented to achieve the objectives set by USAID and the country.

The USAID ASSIST website was launched in 2014 to serve as a knowledge portal to provide guidance, tools, and resources to support the application of improvement methods to achieve measurable increases in service quality across all USAID priority health topics.  In keeping with the project’s knowledge management mandate, the website featured extensive content on QI methods and tools, including a QI Methods toolkit. This document consolidates the main QI methods and tools content from the USAID ASSIST website to make it available following the close of the website in September 2020.

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