USAID’s Health Evaluation and Applied Research Development (HEARD) project brings the implementation and technical capacity of a strategic set of global partners together to generate, synthesize, and use evidence to improve the implementation of policies and programs related to USAID priority areas, and crucial for improving health and development in low and middle-income countries.
HEARD was launched in 2016 and is part of a series of projects supporting USAID’s Health Research Program.
Why are there gaps in evidence to inform decision-making? One major reason is that priority-setting for investments in research is often determined without input from end point decision-makers resulting in a disconnect between evidence needed and evidence produced. Answering implementation questions requires a shift in research mentality and capacities towards a different approach to evidence generation that both relies on: diverse research designs and tools; diverse stakeholder engagement in the prioritization of research; diverse implementation challenges such as acceptability, adaptability, scalability, and sustainability of interventions.