A new tuberculosis (TB)-focused program will provide more than $35 million in new funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for MEASURE Evaluation to strengthen TB data and knowledge sharing worldwide.
MEASURE Evaluation, a global health project housed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Carolina Population Center, is led by Dr. James Thomas, associate professor of epidemiology at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Dr. Thomas also will serve as principal investigator for the new award.
As world leaders gathered on Sept. 26 at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on the Fight to End Tuberculosis, the USAID Administrator, Mr. Mark Green, emphasized fighting TB as a top priority for the U.S. government, and announced the launch of the Global Accelerator to End Tuberculosis as USAID’s new TB business model.
The Accelerator will catalyze investments across multiple countries and sectors to end the epidemic while building self-reliance. Green also announced that USAID had initiated the first award of the Accelerator —more than $35 million to UNC for the TB Data, Impact Assessment and Communications Hub project.
The project will build upon MEASURE Evaluation’s primary USAID award of $232 million over five years (UNC’s largest-ever award). The new program will be implemented from September 2018 to September 2023, with the aim to strengthen TB information systems and to build capacity of low-resource countries for TB monitoring and evaluation on their journey to self-reliance.
MEASURE Evaluation’s strategy for the TB program is to provide more accurate and timely data to combat the disease, to share those data widely across all organizations fighting TB, and to establish an information resource repository as a lasting global good. The program aims to ensure optimal demand for and analysis of TB data and the appropriate use of such information to measure performance and to inform national TB programs and USAID interventions and policies.
Through the grant award, the capacity of TB decision makers to collect, analyze and use reliable information to scale up high-quality and sustainable TB services will be strengthened. The program will be instrumental in establishing and implementing the performance-based measurement system under the new USAID TB business model.
The project’s director is Dr. Stephanie Mullen, a senior methods and evaluation adviser with MEASURE Evaluation at John Snow Inc. (JSI), one of MEASURE Evaluation’s partner organizations.
“We are excited to implement this project in light of the High-Level Meeting at the United Nations’ 73rd General Assembly about the Fight to End TB,” Dr. Mullen said. “Increasing the capacity of national TB programs, ministries of health, civil societies, the private sector and donor communities to collect, analyze and use TB data to improve detection, quality of care and best placement of resources is paramount in realizing a world free of TB.”
UNC and JSI will administer the program, with support from ICF and Palladium, two of MEASURE Evaluation’s partners.
USAID administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.