Research and Evaluation
Research Grants and Operational Research
A significant benefit of HCU’s university partnerships has been the interest and capacity to support research, monitoring, and evaluation of models and programs. We conduct operational research, impact evaluations, and undertake MicroResearch projects. We want to know what is working, what isn’t, and why. We are fortunate that donors and research-granting bodies have recognized the importance of such evaluations and are supporting this important work.
The following are examples of our previous research inquiries:
- What are local barriers and enhancements to child health?
- What motivates volunteer CHWs?
- How can volunteer CHWs be retained?
- How can we evaluate the CHW model? (using qualitative and quantitative assessments and operational data)
Major research projects have included studies on integrated community case management (iCCM), use of mobile phones by CHWs, program cost-analysis, and long-term CHW retention.
MicroResearch recognizes that locally relevant questions need to be asked and answered, especially those posed by community or health system stakeholders. Like ‘microfinance’, ‘microresearch’ involves a series of small grants that are offered to local multidisciplinary teams comprised of community members, health providers, and academics. These teams develop and ask ongoing research questions that are immediately relevant to local and applied health issues in their community.
A formal MicroResearch training, mentoring, and funding program has been developed for MUST and other East African institutions. There are currently several MicroResearch studies underway by MUST researchers that have received small grants from HCU.
MacDonald N, Kabakyenga J. Microresearch: borrowing from the microfinance experience. CMAJ 2008 Aug 26;179(5):399-400.
MacDonald NE, Bortolussi R, Kabakyenga J, Pemba S, Estambale B, Kollmann KHM, Odoi Adome R, Appleton M. MicroResearch: finding sustainable local health solutions in East Africa through small local research studies. J Epidemiol Glob Health 2014 9;4(3):185-193.