USAID ASSIST Project FY20 Annual Performance Monitoring Report
University Research Co., LLC (URC) and its partners have completed almost eight years of implementation of the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project. This report is the 16th and final Semi-Annual Performance Monitoring Report for ASSIST, summarizing the project’s accomplishments and results during Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20). All ASSIST sub-agreements were completed in FY19, so no partners contributed to the implementation of project activities in FY20 aside from revisions to previously submitted deliverables.
The project’s activities in FY20 focused on completion of deliverables funded with MNCH Core Directed funds and Cross Bureau funds; wrap-up of Zika activities funded under the Other Public Health Threats element in Ecuador, Peru, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and completion of outstanding reports, knowledge products, and research and evaluation reports funded through the project’s Common Agenda pool.
The USAID ASSIST Project sought to foster improvements in a range of health care processes through the application of modern improvement methods by host country providers and managers in USAID-assisted countries. The project’s central purpose was to build the capacity of host country health and social service systems to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, client-centeredness, safety, accessibility, and equity of the services they provide. In addition to supporting the implementation of improvement strategies, the project sought to generate new knowledge to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of applying improvement methods in low- and middle-income countries.
USAID ASSIST country programs were aligned with the goals of United States Government’s global initiatives and policies, including preventing child and maternal deaths, achieving HIV epidemic control, combatting other public health threats, protecting life, and addressing gender inequalities.
Where we worked
During FY20, USAID ASSIST provided technical support in seven countries, all funded through the Other Public Health Threats element for Zika-related activities. ASSIST’s work in Ecuador and Peru closed in the first quarter of FY20 and in the five Caribbean island nations, by the end of the second quarter. Sustainability and Transition meetings were held in Ecuador (November), Peru (November), Jamaica (December), St. Kitts (January), St. Vincent (January), Antigua (February), and Dominica (February).
FY20 accomplishments and results:
- Improvement in key indicators: As discussed in this report, ASSIST-supported programs in Latin America and the Caribbean demonstrated improved care and outcomes for screening of pregnant women and newborns for Zika-related signs and symptoms, care and support for Zika-affected babies and children, and provision of neurodevelopmental screening in well-child care.
- Promoting the project results and the use of improvement methods: During FY20, the project published one peer-reviewed article and submitted two other manuscripts for peer review. ASSIST published seven case studies and four case study compendia; 27 technical reports; 13 research and evaluation reports (three other research and evaluation reports were submitted and are still pending AOR approval); and four guides. The project also submitted seven annual reports.
- Knowledge management: Key learning from the project about improving Zika-related care; reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent and reproductive health (RMNCAH) care, assessing quality of integrated RMNCAH and HIV care; and examining the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different implementation strategies for engaging facility teams in using Improving Care for Mothers and Babies: A Guide for Improvement Teams were presented in final technical reports. ASSIST curated a list of “25 Essential Resources for Health Care Quality Improvement” that was disseminated through USAID’s Health Systems Strengthening listserv. The list highlights key guides, tools, and reports from ASSIST that will continue to be available on the URC website at https://www.urc-chs.com/assist-25.
- Research and evaluation studies: During FY20, the project completed 18 research studies in nine countries and six multi-country studies. Comparative analyses of ASSIST data validation, comparison group, and cost-effectiveness studies were also completed.