UNC Awarded $48 Million D4I Project to Support Data Use and Evidence Building in Global Health

A new $48 million award, Data for Impact (D4I), begins this month. Its goal is to help low-resource countries gather and use information to strengthen their health policies and programs and improve the health of their citizens.
UNC Awarded $48 Million D4I Project to Support Data Use and Evidence Building in Global Health

Heidi Reynolds

CHAPEL HILL, NC—A new $48 million award, Data for Impact (D4I), begins this month. Its goal is to help low-resource countries gather and use information to strengthen their health policies and programs and improve the health of their citizens.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded D4I to MEASURE Evaluation, a global health project based at the Carolina Population Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). The new D4I project, which ends in September 2023, draws on MEASURE Evaluation’s experience over 25 years working in low-resource countries to improve the monitoring and evaluation of their health programs.

The D4I award will help low- and middle-income countries—primarily in sub-Saharan Africa—to increase their capacity to use available data and generate new data to build evidence for improving health programs, health policies, and decision making. The project has the following aims:

  • Generate evidence needed for health decision making through the appropriate use of routine and non-routine data sources and develop new understanding through innovative, rigorous, and efficient methods, approaches, and tools
  • Build the capacity of local institutions to conduct analyses and evaluations, on their own or in collaboration with others
  • Help decision makers use data to improve global health programs and policies through compelling, user-friendly, and actionable visualization and communication approaches

“We know that data are essential for good decisions on health policies and programs. The timing of this award will allow us to support USAID’s new strategic approach to help countries on their journey to self-reliance, by building local capacity to conduct evaluations and provide critical evidence on their own,” said Heidi Reynolds, MPH, PhD, clinical associate professor in UNC’s Department of Maternal and Child Health, and director of evaluation for MEASURE Evaluation. Dr. Reynolds will lead the new D4I project.  

D4I will enhance data collection and analysis practices, and facilitate the use of available data for impact. UNC will lead the D4I project with MEASURE Evaluation partners ICF, John Snow, Inc., Palladium, and Tulane University, which already work together to help countries strengthen health systems to generate high-quality health information used at local, national, and global levels.

The D4I Associate Award supplements MEASURE Evaluation’s current five-year, $232 million cooperative agreement with USAID (UNC’s largest-ever research award). 

USAID administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

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