Research and Learning Support on a USAID Development and Food Security Activity in Uganda

Young man in Uganda talking to aid workers

This project works with 13,200 households in Kamwenge District that are economically active, but chronically unable to meet their basic needs without some form of assistance. The activity aims to significantly reduce food insecurity among extremely poor populations, thereby reducing the prevalence of poverty, increasing resiliency, and reducing stunting, wasting, and underweight conditions among children in the two communities.

AIR supports the AVSI Foundation in the Development Food Security activity on the Graduating to Resilience activity, funded by the USAID Office of Food for Peace, and in partnership with USAID Uganda and the Government of Uganda. The goal of this activity is to graduate extremely poor refugee and Ugandan households from conditions of food insecurity and fragile livelihoods to self-reliance and resilience. (This project was initiated by IMPAQ, which was acquired by AIR in 2020.)


Our researchers are applying methodological rigor to measuring development outcomes and bringing our experience with adaptive management to accomplish ongoing learning during implementation. Central to our approach are routine, structured, highly participatory mechanisms for review, open discussion, solicitation of solutions, and change incorporation. AIR is working with the AVSI consortium to:

  • Regularly review current data, information, and lessons learned to inform programmatic decision-making;
  • Design needs assessments to understand implementation, participant experiences, and where and how changes can be made;
  • Conduct qualitative data collection to compliment a robust quantitative data collection to understand how and why particular results are taking place;
  • Design and facilitate theory of change review workshops and processes so programmatic and contextual changes are reflected throughout design and implementation; and
  • Conduct both formative and operational research to understand contextual factors for program design as well as conduct ongoing research to understand why changes are or are not taking place and how this information can be shared with wider communities of practice.

AIR is also supporting the AVSI consortium by building collaborative relationships with a variety of stakeholders, from local communities to global researchers, to share ideas, challenges, and insights. We are identifying opportunities for improvement and modifying hypotheses, activities, and delivery mechanisms, which are core principles of the adaptive management approach for this activity.

Image of Thomas de Hoop
Program Area Lead, Agriculture, Food Security, and Nutrition, and Principal Economist