Research and Evaluation

The USAID ASSIST Project supports country-led research and synthesizes learning across country programs on topics such as the validity of improvement-related data, sustainability and institutionalization, scale-up, and cost-effectiveness of improvement activities. The ASSIST Research and Evaluation unit provides technical support to these efforts and works to disseminate knowledge from these studies to encourage wider adoption of improvement methods.

Sex and gender: how data disaggregation is central to improvement

Elizabeth Romanoff Silva


What is the best way to integrate gender effectively into an improvement program? Taking gender considerations into account in the program design, monitoring and evaluation aspects of a program is critical to integrating gender.

Gender Considerations in Monitoring and Evaluation

Why collect sex-disaggregated and gender-sensitive data? In many contexts, women, men, girls, and boys have different needs and face different social, economic, and cultural barriers that can affect their ability to access and benefit from...

Improving data visualization: No more excel data tables!

Simon Hiltebeitel

Improvement Advisor, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

Excel data tables are awful. Still, we often use them when presenting time-series charts because they are a convenient way to display the denominator for percentage or rate indicators. Why do we need the denominator? Two reasons. First, the denominator communicates the scale either of the intervention or the sample. Second, variation in the denominator might explain some of the variation seen in the displayed indicator.

Excel Template for Presenting Denominators in Column Charts

Excel data tables can be hard to read when they contain more than a few data points. However, it is important to include the denominator when presenting time-series percentage or rate indicators . One alternative to the data table is to...

Freudian Slip

Edward Broughton

Director, Research and Evaluation, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

What do Sigmund Freud and some in the field of improvement have in common? No, this is not the beginning of a Woody Allen joke and I hope the answer is a simple “nothing”. But sometimes when I hear those immersed in improvement say that our work is too complex and nuanced for randomized trials or other rigorous research methodologies, it reminds me of the famous cigar-smoking psychoanalyst.

Cost-effectiveness and Quality Improvement Webinar


This webinar by Dr. Edward Broughton, Director of Research and Evaluation on the USAID ASSIST Project at URC, was presented to participants in the “Introduction to Quality and Quality Improvement” training course implemented by the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

A recording of the webinar is available at:

Research and Evaluation Report FY13

This report shall provide a summary of all SIS research and evaluation studies, whether limited to a specific country or not, for a period of approximately one year. The report shall distinguish activities that are completed, under way,...

Team-level Excel Database (updated 2011)

This Excel database was created by the USAID Health Care Improvement project for use at the site level. It provides a mechanism for data entry of monthly or weekly indicator data, with automatic calculation of percentages and automatic...

Excel tips for run charts: Annotating run charts using data labels and labeling the secondary y-axis

The first document below explains how to use Excel’s data labels function to annotate run charts.Using data labels instead of call-out boxes is helpful when using dynamic run charts that adjust the time scale of the chart as new data is...

Norms for Presentation of Time Series Charts

The document provides guidance on basic standards for labeling of time series charts to ensure that those examining the results have enough information to be able to accurately interpret the graphs. The document was prepared to guide staff...