The USAID ASSIST Project’s approach to improving health care in low- and middle-income countries
The objective of the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project is to improve the quality and outcomes of health care and other services by enabling host country providers and managers to apply the science of improvement. The project seeks to build the capacity of host country service delivery organizations in USAID assisted countries to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, client centeredness, safety, accessibility, and equity of the health and family services they provide. ASSIST also seeks to institutionalize the capacity to improve through competency development at the pre and in service levels as well as engaging with host country governments at the policy level.The approach used by ASSIST has been applied to a variety of technical areas in over 30 countries.
The project uses Integrated Design as the template for improving health care outcomes, producing sustainable results, taking these results to scale, institutionalizing improvement, and generating learning for local and global purposes. This paper outlines the approach of the USAID ASSIST Project in conducting its work based on quality improvement principles and methods. It also highlights the USAID ASSIST Integrated Design Plan, outlining how each of the elements of the plan are implemented in the work of the project.