The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (WDI) was founded in 1992 on the belief that a thriving private sector was essential to the development of an economy. More than 25 years later, WDI continues to embrace this premise by working with firms in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to develop profitable business models and apply business approaches to non-profit organizations working in markets that are not served by the for-profit sector.
We apply our extensive experience working with firms in LMICs to develop business models with a focus on professional education, healthcare, finance, and energy, in addition to offering measurement and evaluation services. Our engagement model involves WDI staff, research fellows, faculty from the University of Michigan (U-M), faculty from other leading business schools, and/or teams of University of Michigan graduate students working with our clients to develop solutions. These solutions are tailored to the clients’ comparative advantage while accounting for the constraints and opportunities specific to the target market.
The following is an overview of ongoing or completed projects during the last 18 months, categorized by sector or service area.
Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum (USA, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon)Implemented by WDI, Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum is a classroom-to-classroom, action-learning course on international business cultures that brings together students from Egypt, Lebanon, Libya and the U.S. The course will be open to undergraduates and will run four times at the Ross School of Business, starting in Winter 2020. Participants will attend lectures by international faculty, work on interregional teams through synchronous and asynchronous exchange, employ field research methods to learn about one another’s business cultures and create a final project that captures their cross-cultural learnings. The program will equip young people in the U.S. and MENA region with the competencies they need to communicate, problem-solve and collaborate in a global team environment— all essential 21st century skills in an interconnected world. In addition to implementing the course, WDI will also be conducting a study (quasi-experimental design) to understand the impact of this virtual exchange program on students in the US, Libya, Lebanon and Egypt. To perform this assessment, WDI is partnering with Dr. Andrew Grogan-Kaylor of the University of Michigan School of Social Work.
CIPE Access to Finance (Algeria)WDI will work with CIPE to develop curriculum and teacher’s guides for a training program on access to finance for entrepreneurs in Algeria. Working closely with WDI staff, a WDI consultant will develop modules in the areas of financing fundamentals, financial management for growth, creating business plans, and business pitching. WDI’s curricular modules will be used by local trainers in Algeria in a three-day interactive course targeted at fast-growing small- and medium- sized enterprise owners.
CIPE EPT (Papua New Guinea)For the past three years, WDI has been working in partnership with the Center for Private Enterprise (CIP) to develop curriculum and instructional materials to be introduced at universities in Papua New Guinea. Initially, the project supported three PNG universities – a fourth was added in 2018, the Institute of Business Studies University (IBSU). WDI Faculty Affiliate Julie Felker took her fourth trip to Port Moresby in August 2018 to run a workshop on case writing for local faculty members and advise the four universities on next steps in their entrepreneurship course development. During the trip, Dr. Felker also advised the leadership of IBSU on how to start an incubator. Dr. Felker will return to PNG in August 2019 to continue consulting the four universities on building their entrepreneurship curricula.
Livelihoods Innovation through Food Entrepreneurship (LIFE) (Turkey)WDI is collaborating with a consortium led by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) on the LIFE project, funded by the U.S. State Department. In addition to CIPE and WDI, consortium members include IDEMA, Union Kitchen and The Stimson Center. This project aims to develop sustainable livelihoods in the food sector for Syrian refugees, other refugees, and their host communities, by providing entrepreneurs access to training, business support services, and mentorship at Food Enterprise Centers (based in Istanbul and Mersin, Turkey) designed by the LIFE project. In June 2018, WDI traveled to Istanbul to serve as a judge in the end-of-cohort business pitch competition and provide the field team support in implementing a toolkit for launching an entrepreneur mentorship program. In November 2018, WDI traveled to Istanbul to conduct a training of trainers workshop focused on pedagogy and building the capacity of local trainers to deliver the entrepreneurship curriculum. Building on WDI's efforts to lead the development of an entrepreneurship curriculum composed of 25 modules in the previous year, WDI worked on expanding and refining select modules based on feedback from the field. Part of this included drafting a workbook that provides entrepreneurs with practical exercises to complete as they advance through the program. In June 2019, two WDI staff members along with a WDI faculty affiliate will travel to Turkey to workshop revised curriculum modules with local trainers, as well as assess needs of advanced entrepreneurs to inform design of an accelerator program, a core activity for the next phase of the project.
Lviv Business School (Ukraine)The Lviv Business School (LBS) in Lviv, Ukraine is one of the leading business schools in Ukraine. It is interested in beginning a consulting service to complement its short-term executive and graduate programs. This project focused on the development and implementation of a consulting service and identified a sales program as the place to start given the skills at the school and the needs of the market. LBS has now officially started a consulting program within the school, starting with the sales program as outlined and recommended.
MADE (India)WDI is a founding partner of the Michigan Academy for the Development of Entrepreneurs (MADE), along with Poornatha Foundation in India and the Zell Lurie Institute at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. MADE was established to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in low-and middle-income countries through local Entrepreneur Development Organizations (EDOs). MADE connects the resources of the University of Michigan (U-M) with the EDOs in the field through its governance. The governing board includes seats for different institutes at the University of Michigan and EDOs in different countries around the world. Thus, the EDOs have a direct role in determining the products and services offered by MADE. MADE has involved students and/or faculty from University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, psychology department, Institute for Social Research, Stamps School of Art and Design, Law School and School of Education. Over the past year, MADE finalized an instrument used by entrepreneurs to clarify the business model for their organization, developed a new tool for project management and provided guidance to Poornatha, the EDO in India, on how to expand geographically within India beyond the initial set of SMEs they have been working with. The goal is to expand to 120 SMEs over the next year.
MENA-Michigan Initiative for Global Action Through Entrepreneurship (M2GATE) (Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia)From 2017-2019, the M²GATE program brought together more than 400 students from five Michigan university campuses and their peers in Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Harnessing the power of virtual exchange, students worked in teams to find entrepreneurial solutions to social challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, while learning new skills, building cross-cultural experiences and forging new relationships. Students developed their business concepts over an eight-week period and judges determined the winning team from each of the three cohorts. M²GATE culminated in a visit by the winning teams to Ann Arbor to participate in a week of entrepreneurial activities, including a business pitch competition, in November 2018. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with participants praising the program for helping them work with people in different cultures and exposing them to new concepts in design thinking, entrepreneurship, leadership and virtual collaboration. The program also sparked in students a deep interest in social enterprise – 51% of program participants said they planned to take what they’ve learned and start a social enterprise in the future. The program was funded by the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute, with support from the U.S. Department of Statement and a consortium of other partners
Palestine Polytechnic University (Palestine)WDI has been working with Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU) to develop a life skills orientation course for incoming undergraduate students. The goal of the course is to prepare students with important life skills before they begin their university courses so they are better prepared for their academic and professional careers. WDI developed a curriculum held a one-week train-the-trainer program to prepare PPU faculty members to run the program. WDI faculty affiliate Julie Felker traveled to Hebron in December 2018 to deliver the workshop.
Youth Entrepreneurship Pilot in MacedoniaCIPE contracted WDI to enhance an entrepreneurship and civic participation training program in Macedonia targeting recent university graduates (21-26 years old). To inform curriculum development, a WDI staff member and consultant traveled to Skopje, Macedonia in October 2018 and conducted over 30 interviews to understand Macedonia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, as well as to strategize with the local implementing partner. With findings from this needs assessment trip, WDI developed a set of recommendations for enhancing the curriculum as well as the overall program. While in Skopje, YEF invited WDI Faculty Affiliate Stephen Brand and WDI Senior Project Manager Kristin Kelterborn to be guests on their podcast, “Skills That Pay the Bills.”
AIM Tech: Market Analysis and Entry Strategy (India)The market analysis for NeoVent, a low-cost non-electric ventilator, for the Indian market was conducted. Based on the market attractiveness, a comprehensive market entry strategy was developed that included identification of customer segments (including geographies and sector), distribution channels, regulatory strategy, partnerships with various stakeholders including the government etc.
Aravind: 5-year Strategy for Developing Clinical, Training and Research (India)WDI has worked with Aravind Eye Care Hospitals, one of the largest eye care hospitals in the world for twenty years. This year's work included developing a five-year strategic plan for the newest Aravind Eye Hospital (AEH) located in Chennai. The plan focused on three pillars - clinical care, academics and research. The goal of AEH in Chennai is to treat 3000 patients and conduct 300 surgeries per day. Recommendations were provided around operations and human resources that could support the higher future patient inflow.
Collaborative Project to Advance the Practice of Hospital Pharmacy (Pakistan, Namibia)WDI’s Healthcare team is collaborating with the International Federation of Pharmacists (FIP), Hospital Pharmacy Section and associated pharmacy faculty (including Dr. James Stevenson at U-M) with the objective of advancing implementation of best practices in hospital pharmacy. This project grew out of an initial collaboration, including funding and assignment of a U-M PharmD graduate student to conduct a baseline assessment in Namibia during June-July 2018. This project will focus on leveraging the findings from the Namibia assessment, as well as a Pakistan assessment in order to advance the diagnostic results into capacity building intervention and funding development for the two countries.
CURE: Market Entry Tool (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia)CURE is a network of pediatric surgical hospitals operating in low-income countries around the world. CURE has many opportunities to expand and wanted to develop a systematic approach to determining which opportunities to pursue. In response, a strategic comparison assessment toolkit was developed to help CURE assess and recommend market entry opportunities in the pediatric orthopedics market. The tool provided a more strategic method to evaluate hospital site selection opportunities to ensure that resources are being used effectively. Further, an ongoing measurement criteria was developed that would help evaluate current CURE hospitals and inform a hospital exit strategy.
Designing Global Health Supply Chains for the FutureWDI helped build alignment and a clear vision among donor agencies, governments and private companies regarding supply chain investments that must be made now to prepare for future changes in healthcare demand. These investments are driven by a convergence of trends in technology, innovation, economic growth and shifting disease burdens. WDI helped provide this clear vision through a number of different research avenues:
- Synthesizing reports on future trends across several industries, breaking down the meaning and applicability of those trends for the governments, donor agencies, private companies and patients who comprise the global health supply chain
- Developing quantitative models to estimate future changes in health supply chain demand levels, based on existing epidemiological, socioeconomic, and medical trends research
- Simulating the impact of future demand changes on supply chain capacity needs and choice of optimal strategy
Development of Tool to Estimate Efficiency of Global Fund’s HIV, TB and Malaria Investments (Nigeria)WDI worked with the Global Fund to develop an Excel-based tool to estimate how much money the Global Fund was spending to achieve specific health outcomes for Nigeria, one of its largest country portfolios. This project was started after recognizing the dearth of information regarding what each outcome should cost. This meant that it was difficult for the Global Fund to negotiate with providers for lower costs. This project was done under an ongoing contract with the Global Fund.
E-Heza Electronic Health Records (Rwanda)For ten years, WDI has worked with Ihangane Project (TIP) and Ruli District Hospital in Rwanda to improve hospital operations. The most recent project focused on evaluating the efficiency of the current data reporting systems used in Rwanda and E-Heza (tool developed by TIP) in terms of timeliness, cost and data quality. A tool was created that allows evaluation on a continuing basis.
Ethiopia Biomedical Waste (Ethiopia)International Clinical Laboratories (ICL) and its partners have been approached by the Ethiopian government to develop a business that would safely dispose of medical waste for healthcare facilities across Ethiopia. Through a series of projects, WDI has worked with ICL to develop a business and operations plan for biomedical waste that includes financials and an in-depth analysis of the various training requirements, operations complexities and expected costs. The final product is a proposal to be presented to the government in the summer of 2019.
Ethiopian Oxygen Supply (Ethiopia)WDI has worked with Ethio-American Doctors Group, Inc. (EADG) for five years in developing a world class hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Our work with EADG this year focused on developing the capacity to produce medical gases internally to satisfy EADG's needs.
Evaluating the Impact of New Vaccine Technologies on Immunization Coverage Rates (Global)Populations in low-and-middle-income countries face a variety of barriers to receiving vaccinations, such as vaccine stockouts, cold chain breakdowns, difficulty traveling to a clinic or a lack of sufficiently trained clinic staff. New vaccine technologies have the potential to reduce or eliminate many of these barriers, but the impact of such reductions on actual immunization rates is not clear. To address this gap, WDI is developing a model to estimate the change in immunization coverage rates associated with a new vaccine introduction. The model includes six main barriers that can be addressed by new technologies. It first considers the prevalence of these barriers in the target population and then considers how effectively a new technology can address those same barriers. Those two factors are combined to estimate the change in population experiencing a barrier, which in turn influences overall immunization coverage levels. This model will help inform donor investment strategy by identifying high-priority new vaccine attributes and pairing them with high-impact target populations.
Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative — Digital Revenue Cycle MethodsWDI’s Healthcare Initiative has collaborated since early 2018 with physicians in Michigan Medicine’s NIH-funded Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative (GEMC) to improve emergency department (ED) operations, finances and clinical delivery. The sites include 1200-bed Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and 2200-bed Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Kumasi and Accra, respectively. MBA MAP teams have worked in each hospital in March-April 2018 (at KATH) and 2019 (at KBTH), with much recent work focusing on measuring the debilitating consequences of paper billing and payments (called “cash & carry”) that are presently made by patients exclusively in hard currency. WDI has introduced simple tools at each hospital to track patient flows (e.g., a daily ED census), measure payments-related delays, seek to establish sustainable business processes and identify root causes of operational dysfunction. WDI has also recommended specific, step-wise actions at both hospitals that begin with offering patients a simple mobile payments option and thereafter proceed to digitize and restructure the entire revenue cycle (i.e., the process of generating a bill and collecting payment) and all of the surrounding clinical workflow. WDI is working with development officers from Michigan Medicine’s Emergency Medicine Department and GEMC to line up funding for further work. Several publications are being readied for submission to peer-reviewed journals (e.g., using census collected at KATH and KBTH) and two white papers are also near completion.
Grace Care Center: Business Model for Diabetes Assistants (Sri Lanka)WDI has worked with Grace Care Center for the past five years on a model for providing diabetes care in Sri Lanka. All of this work is feeding into developing a financially viable business model for diabetes care that involves reducing the burden on doctors.
HANSHEP Health Enterprise Fund Research Study, Year 3 (Global)This is a longitudinal study checking in annually with a cohort of the original SHOPS grantees - Jacaranda (a low-cost maternity center), Afya Research Africa (health kiosks located in urban slums) and Telemed (call center). The study will capture quantitative data on the extent to which these enterprises increased access to family planning during and since the end of the Health Enterprise Fund. The study will also capture qualitative data through in-person and remote interviews to better understand the role of the Health Enterprise Fund interventions in these results and how such interventions might be improved in the future. In the first year of this study, the research identified a set of capacities that were considered by participating enterprises to be important in achieving increases in access to family planning. In the second year of the study, the team sought to better understand sources and types of support received by these enterprises in addition to the Health Enterprise Fund, any gaps that remained and how the implementation of donor interventions to increase access to family planning, such as the Health Enterprise Fund, can be improved. Year 3 of the study will seek to better understand and document the experience of HHEF grantees thus far in their efforts to balance affordability, quality and sustainable growth. This work will also explore the barriers these enterprises face in taking the next step towards sustainability at scale, and how such private enterprise approaches might be enhanced and replicated in the future.
Harmonization of Donor and Country HIV-Related Budgets and Expenditure (Rwanda)This project is focused on supporting donors and country governments in understanding how much money is spent on each type of HIV-related intervention. While this seems like it should be straightforward, it is not because the both donors and countries use different budget formats, making it very difficult to compare line items between budgets. The long-term objectives of this work are to (a) understand the current costs of HIV-related programs and (b) use this information to advocate for change (increased funding or increased efficiency, depending on the results).
HIV Core Sustainable Financing for HIV NGOs (Dominican Republic)WDI has provided diagnostic and consultative services on revenue generation and operational efficiency for three HIV-focused NGOs in La Romana and Santo Domingo since June 2018, in WDI’s role as a technical contributor and consortium member of the SHOPS Plus USAID project. SHOPS Plus stands for ‘Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector,’ which is a natural fit with WDI’s mission. The three recipient organizations in the Dominican Republic have historically received a significant portion of their funding from PEPFAR and are now preparing for transition to sustainable social enterprise models. WDI’s onsite diagnostic and related technical assistance was highly customized to the business models and needs of the individual organizations. WDI developed actionable recommendations for the NGO decision makers on how they could modify their strategies and/or operations to work towards financial sustainability. Return visits will be conducted to assess progress and provide additional assistance to the organizations.
Institut Africain de Management (IAM – Senegal)WDI has been working with the Institut Africain de Management (IAM) in Dakar, Senegal since 2016 on an academic partnership focused on developing a supply chain Masters program. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the goal of the partnership is to graduate students that multinational companies will want to hire for their supply chain needs in West Africa. WDI began the partnership by working with IAM on the business model for delivering a supply chain program that will be profitable. At the end of 2018, the second cohort of students began the program and are expected to complete the program at the end of 2019. This class is using a case study on a local company that was completed jointly by IAM and WDI. Two other locally based case studies are expected to be completed this year. The program includes three key features:
- It provides curriculum that is consistent with the best business schools in the world while offering the flexibility needed by the Senegalese audience. For example, while the program is designed as a Masters in Supply Chain Management, students with more specific educational needs or interests will be able to take only courses that are relevant to them.
- The pedagogy takes advantage of recent advances in technology and the science of learning by incorporating all forms of teaching including online courses, simulations and action-based learning.
- The program is working with the private sector to ensure the students understand the application of concepts in companies and to ensure the school has a mechanism to remain in touch with private sector challenges.
Kisii Eye Hospital Production and Revenue Generation (Kenya)Kisii Eye Hospital in Kisii, Kenya plans to improve operations so that it can grow to 5,000 surgeries per year, later reaching 10,000 surgeries per year. Recommendations on operations, organization and revenue generation were developed, some of which are being implemented over the coming months. Initial work is beginning on the organizational structure.
Landscaping of Women’s Health Social Enterprises & Investment Opportunities (Latin America)WDI’s Healthcare team is conducting a project for the Linked Foundation to inform social enterprise investment in Latin America. The Foundation seeks to identify market-based, impact investment opportunities specific to women’s health in Latin America, based on an integrated assessment of the major unmet needs in combination with identification of high-impact solutions and opportunities to foster the enterprise ecosystem and sustainable women’s health solutions. WDI is developing an analytic methodology and landscaping report for an initial prioritized country, with the potential for follow-on work. Linked anticipates this work will inform their investment strategy as well as catalyzing additional resources to the most-needed areas in women’s health in Latin America.
PAMS: Cost and Production Analysis for GI Specialty (Peru)PAMS in Chincha, Peru operates a primary care clinic that offers some specialty services. Since 2017, WDI has worked with the leadership to develop a business model that would enhance its gastroenterology services and turn it into a service that helps fund the rest of the clinic. Building on market analysis completed last year, this year the operations were examined. Recommendations on changes in operations and revenues are being implemented. A business plan will then be completed and presented to potential funders.
Rapid and Flexible Cost Modeling to Improve Reproductive Health Supply Chain Design (Global)An effective and efficient supply chain is critical to building a strong health system, however, identifying and implementing high-performing supply chain designs can be a challenge for many healthcare leaders. Data on supply chain costs and performance are often lacking as are benchmarks for understanding how much a supply chain should cost. Analyzing potential future design improvements is difficult without expensive, specialized modeling software. WDI's Healthcare Team, in collaboration with VillageReach, is addressing this gap by developing and disseminating an Excel-based rapid supply chain modeling tool. Funded by the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC), the goal of this tool is to simplify the process of creating, testing and analyzing different supply chain design scenarios within a given country context. Through this simplified approach, WDI's tool can help health program leaders more quickly and easily identify ways of improving the efficiency of their supply chain.
Ruli Food Fortification (Rwanda)A value chain and market analysis was conducted to assess the feasibility of developing a locally procured and processed Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) to address the challenge of severe acute malnutrition amongst children in Rwanda. The work focused on three main components – (1) ingredients feasibility; (2) the RUTF market; (3) operational and production capacity – with the following conclusions: Some but not all of the principle ingredients can be procured entirely locally, with other ingredients either readily available to import or feasible locally with time. The market is vast, though incumbent competitors and regulatory requirements make entry challenging. There are important advantages to locally organized procurement and production, including outreach and education with local farmers, better risk-sharing and contractual performance, and overall ease of coordination.
SHOPS Plus Madagascar Health Enterprise and Innovation Ecosystem Mapping (Madagascar)Health enterprises that seek to be financially sustainable and provide access to health services to low income populations are an important part of delivering healthcare through the private sector. These enterprises provide investment opportunities for private capital, they develop innovations that can lower the cost of healthcare through new technologies or business models and they help to identify barriers or gaps in the market environment that, if addressed, could provide opportunities to improve the effectiveness of private sector healthcare delivery more broadly. However, such enterprises require significant support to identify and experiment with financially sustainable opportunities, and design business models to serve these markets. A key first step in understanding how best to support such enterprises in Madagascar is to understand the current landscape of organizations, projects and initiatives that currently operate in the country with these objectives, and what gaps might remain. WDI will contribute to a Health Enterprise and Innovation Mapping activity that will seek to identify innovative health enterprises and the partners and types of support available to them. This information will be compiled into a Madagascar Health Enterprise and Innovation Directory that illustrates the types of financial and technical support available to health enterprises, and the partners that provide various types of support. WDI will leverage the insights gathered through the mapping to contribute to the development of recommendations that explore how USAID/Madagascar can promote enterprise innovation, leverage private sector resources and maximize priority health outcomes through financially sustainable health enterprises.
Surfacing Costs and Benefits to Increase Vaccine Access (Global)Vaccines play a critical role in improving global health. While the return on investment of vaccines is on average higher than any other health intervention, there is a still a critical need to evaluate the expected return of each individual vaccine presentation. The key driver of the expected return on investment of a vaccine is the price of the vaccine relative to the value that it is expected to generate through increases in coverage/equity. While simple on its face, estimating price and value is often complex since both are multifactorial. The objective of this work was to provide buyers with a structured way of evaluating and negotiating potential investments related to the manufacturing of specific vaccine presentations. We hypothesized that we could facilitate negotiations between buyers and manufacturers of vaccines by developing a flexible tool that incorporates their respective investment decision drivers and key levers related to price & value. To accomplish the objective, we had three aims: (1) Understand the investment decision drivers for buyers and potential manufacturers; (2) Identify the key levers that would form the basis of a contract that buyers could use in negotiations with potential manufacturers; and (3) Build a tool that buyers can use to evaluate scenarios with potential manufacturers. The output of this work is currently being applied to buyers investment questions.
Taxes on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (Global)In high-income countries, increasing taxes on "bads" such as tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages has been shown to generate government revenue and reduce consumption. In many low- and middle-income countries, taxes on these products exist, but rates are so low that the effect on consumption is minimal. Moreover, policymakers are unsure whether increased tax rates would result in an amount of additional tax revenue that is meaningful when compared to indicators such as out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare. WDI developed a set of excise tax revenue simulations for these "bads" in 16 low- and middle-income countries. Simulations used several alternative calculation methods to "triangulate" estimates for the additional tax revenue that could be generated with higher excise tax rates. Results indicate that the additional excise tax revenue would cover a significant proportion of current out-of-pocket expenditure on health for the 16 countries. These results will be used during a workshop on domestic resource mobilization in low- and middle-income countries organized by the Center for Global Development.
Total Cost Effectiveness (TSE) Investment Support (Global)The objective of the Total Cost Effectiveness (TSE) investment related support is to provide the World Health Organization (WHO) with information related to the expected demand of potential vaccine technologies. This information is used by the WHO and its partners to help promote investment by private sector organizations operating in this space (e.g., research & development, manufacturing). The expected outcome of this work is an increase in global vaccine coverage.
Total Market Approach to the Last Mile: Learning from a Private Sector Wholesaler Landscape Analysis (Malawi)The global reproductive health community is increasingly seeking to engage the private sector in meeting the needs for reproductive health in low-resource regions of the world. Countries such as Malawi have a high level of donor dependence and market conditions which inhibit commercial sector development, particularly for serving the more rural and remote areas. In this project, funded by the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, WDI’s Healthcare team conducted a contraceptives distributor landscape analysis and delivered actionable and stakeholder receptivity-tested concepts for stimulating the private sector provision of family planning products and services in rural, remote and other underserved populations. The landscaping assessment involved field research and in-country discussions with market actors, but also utilized a stakeholder-centric methodology to generate ideas for market building. The results and recommendations are being shared with Malawi country stakeholders, as well as with funders and implementers for potential market building efforts, in Malawi and similar countries.
Advancing the Use of Developmental Evaluation at USAID (DEPA-MERL)Developmental evaluation (DE) was created to evaluate innovative programs that operate in complex environments and are thus expected to adapt over time. The Developmental Evaluation Pilot Activity (DEPA-MERL) under the U.S. Global Development Lab’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Innovations (MERLIN) program at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is testing the effectiveness of DE in the USAID context. The DEPA-MERL consortium consists of Social Impact (prime), Search for Common Ground (Search), and the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan. As part of the consortium, Social Impact and Search are implementing DEs while WDI is serving as an evaluator to assess the effectiveness of this approach in the USAID context. WDI seeks to answer the following three research questions:
- How is developmental evaluation effective in the USAID context?
- What are the barriers and enablers to implementation of developmental evaluation in the USAID context?
- What do key informants consider to be the value (added or lost) of conducting a developmental evaluation compared to a traditional evaluation approach?
- A Study of the Family Care First in Cambodia Developmental Evaluation Executive Summary | Full Report | Annex This report provides results from an in-depth mixed-method analysis of a 15-month DE that was conducted with Family Care First in Cambodia.
- Final Report from the Family Care First Developmental Evaluation Full Report Developed by Search for Common Ground, this report documents the implementation of the DE with the Family Care First Initiative in Cambodia.
- A Study of the Sustained Uptake Developmental Evaluation Executive Summary | Full Report | Recommendations This report shares results from an in-depth mixed-method study of a 22-month DE that was conducted with the US Global Development Lab.
- Top Tips for Conducting Developmental Evaluation at USAID This one-pager provides guidance on how to manage barriers and promote enablers that influence DE implementation.
- Developmental Evaluation: How Barriers and Enablers Emerge Over Time This document shares the results from an in-depth qualitative analysis of the barriers and enablers that surfaced during implementation of the Sustained Uptake DE.
- Final Report from the Sustained Uptake Developmental Evaluation Full Report Written by Social Impact, this report documents the implementation of DEPA-MERL’s DE pilot with the Global Development Lab.
Integrating Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning with Design for Good Program Management (BalanceD-MERL)The Balanced Design, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (BalanceD-MERL) consortium is a mechanism under the U.S. Global Development Lab’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Innovations (MERLIN) program at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The consortium believes good program management integrates monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL) activities with program design (D) and implementation to achieve program objectives. Program design and implementation should not be thought of as separate from its MERL activities; these are indeed iterative processes that are deeply interconnected. The consortium examines how balanced integration across all aspects of D-MERL enables teams to rapidly learn and incorporate findings into program design. The consortium also assesses how four principles – relevant, right-sized, responsible, and trustworthy – can be incorporated into D-MERL to enable sustainable integration of MERL with program design and adaptive management. The BalanceD-MERL consortium consists of World Vision (prime), Innovations for Poverty Action, Institute for Development Impact, Search for Common Ground, and the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
The Work1. Women + Water Global Development Alliance (Nov 2016 – Jan 2018) The BalanceD-MERL consortium served as MERL technical experts to the Women + Water Global Development Alliance collaboration among USAID, Gap, Inc., CARE, Water.org, the Institute for Sustainable Communities and the International Center for Research on Women. Together, these organizations are leveraging their complementary strengths to improve and sustain the health and well-being of women and communities touched by the apparel industry. The consortium developed a MERL strategy for the Alliance and captured lessons learned in the following two resources:
- Guiding Questions - Nine action-oriented questions that private sector companies can ask to strengthen the design and implementation of their work with USAID.
- Case Study| Executive Summary - A document that shares the experience of applying the BalanceD-MERL approach in the Women + Water program and provides key takeaways along with action-items for decision-makers, program implementers, and MERL practitioners to undertake to enhance the effectiveness of this approach.
- Guidance for Building a Balanced D-MERL System in a Post Response Recovery– The paper comprises six building blocks of strategies which will strengthen and balance D-MERL systems during post response recoveries.
- Heuristic Tool for Building a Balanced-D MERL System– The purpose of this document is to help USAID staff plan for, and implement, effective and efficient programs and MERL systems in a post response recovery. This heuristic tool is a quick reference document developed to assist program managers and MERL practitioners navigating the process of building the balanced D-MERL system in this evolving context.
- Case study – This document provides an inside look at the application of the BalanceD-MERL approach in the Global Health Ebola Team technical assistance pilot.