International Health and Social Protection
Programs in health and social protection are designed to improve people’s lives by raising awareness and empowering communities to adopt practices that are associated with improved agriculture, nutrition, and other health outcomes. We conduct research and evaluation and provide technical assistance on a broad range of projects designed to improve people’s lives by working with communities, governments, and development agencies.
Impact and formative evaluations as well as technical assistance work in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are recent examples of AIR’s expertise in this area, including the following:
- Three randomized controlled trials and a quasi-experimental evaluation to determine the effectiveness and assess the implementation of government-supported cash transfer programs in Zambia and Zimbabwe
- Two randomized controlled trials and a formative evaluation to determine the impact and fidelity of early childhood nutrition programs in Bangladesh and Zambia
- A mixed-methods randomized controlled trial to determine the cost-effectiveness of an agricultural extension program in Kenya
- Contribution to a revision of the national and strategic plan to mitigate HIV/AIDS by building the capacity of staff of Zambia’s Ministry of Education
AIR’s vast experience evaluating health and social protection interventions includes randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental evaluations, and formative evaluations with an emphasis on cash transfers, early childhood nutrition, and agricultural extension programs. AIR’s research is characterized by rigorous designs that enable causal claims, emphasize the theory of change, and use mixed methods to examine program effectiveness and fidelity of implementation. AIR builds partnerships with developing country governments and local researchers to engage with policy makers from an early stage of the research, ensuring contextually appropriate designs and building the capacity of developing country researchers.
AIR builds the capacity of policymakers in developing countries to make evidence-informed decisions by providing technical assistance to developing country government agencies. This assistance includes revising national policy and strategic operational plans and capacity building of government staff. We emphasize the importance of institutionalizing research and rigorous evaluations in program design to establish health and social protection programs built on evidence.