Applied Analytics

ISSUE

APPROACH

Countries often lack the data to accurately inform health policy decisions that can save lives as well as resources. CHAI works to connect decision-makers with high-quality evidence by employing a robust analytical approach across a variety of program areas.

The Issue

Across all types of health programs, a lack of high-quality and timely evidence to inform health policy decisions often leads to waste, inefficiencies, and missed opportunities. In some cases, valuable routine data exists but the information is not accessible to decision-makers. In other cases, new information must be gathered through evaluations or operations research that is tailored to the interests and timeline of the policy-making process.

The Approach

CHAI’s high-impact, transformational programs are built on our ability to apply a rigorous, analytical approach to identify actionable solutions, guide complex change processes, and measure program performance. Working at the intersection of CHAI’s global and country teams, the Applied Analytics Team (AAT) supports the use of robust applied analytical methods across CHAI.  

Applied Analytics

Issue

Across all types of health programs, a lack of high-quality and timely evidence to inform health policy decisions often leads to waste, inefficiencies, and missed opportunities. In some cases, valuable routine data exists but the information is not accessible to decision-makers. In other cases, new information must be gathered through evaluations or operations research that is tailored to the interests and timeline of the policy-making process.

Approach

CHAI’s high-impact, transformational programs are built on our ability to apply a rigorous, analytical approach to identify actionable solutions, guide complex change processes, and measure program performance. Working at the intersection of CHAI’s global and country teams, the Applied Analytics Team (AAT) supports the use of robust applied analytical methods across CHAI.

AAT’s approach to analytics is distinguished not by what we do, but how we do it. While we apply methods also used by other institutions, we aim to generate and utilize evidence in a way that is efficient, flexible, focused on practical impact, and driven by the needs of our government partners. AAT is made up of staff with expertise in global health epidemiology, economics, mathematical modeling, monitoring and evaluation, research ethics, and research design. We work across numerous teams within CHAI on projects that range from developing study protocols, conducting impact and process evaluations, performing quantitative and qualitative data analysis, building capacity within country teams for monitoring and evaluation, and more.

Change

Recent highlights of projects that AAT has supported include:

  • Providing the epidemiologic expertise underpinning studies across CHAI programs and countries, particularly in the realm of vaccines, ORS/zinc, human resources for health and HIV. With the support of AAT, CHAI has executed rigorous data collection and analysis exercises that serve to inform the development of programs and document the impact of on-going interventions.
  • Launching five impact evaluations to address high priority questions from the government in malaria, HIV and maternal mortality. Through the Demand Driven Evaluations for Decisions program (3DE), CHAI worked with governments in Zambia and Uganda to identify impact evaluation questions that would inform the allocation of resources. One evaluation with Zambia found that non-cash incentives were associated with a 54 percent increase in facility delivery rates, and therefore a cost-effective intervention.
  • Collaborating closely with government partners to answer urgent, policy-relevant questions on the global research agenda. Alongside partners in the MaxART Consortium, CHAI is launching an implementation study to investigate the feasibility, scalability, affordability, and acceptability of HIV treatment for prevention in Swaziland. Through this research collaboration, CHAI aims to ensure that ministries of health are armed with the best evidence to make the decisions for the health of the populations who they serve.
  • Employing innovative research methods to examine the impact of targeted investments in human resources on population health. Countries that face a severe shortage of human resources for health often struggle to decide how to effectively and efficiently deploy a limited number of health workers in a way that best serves their population’s health needs. CHAI has worked in Zambia to rigorously quantify the impact of adding health workers in rural clinics. Our study found that the addition of a nurse at a small rural health center can increase the number of outpatient visits per month by 21 percent and the addition of a midwife can increase the number of women per month that attended a first antenatal care visit and delivered at a facility by about 30 percent each.