Good Health Enables People and Communities to Reach Their Potential
Access to affordable, quality health services, nutritious food and hygienic environments are all important factors impacting an individual’s ability to achieve good health and reach his or her full potential. Good health not only directly improves people’s lives, but also brings new opportunities for economic growth and the promise of improved living standards for future generations.
Enduring Health Challenges Remain While New Challenges Constantly Emerge
In the past half century, the world has witnessed tremendous improvements in health services. National governments, donors, private organizations and community groups have increasingly combined resources through innovative partnerships to combat disease and promote access to care. However, many serious enduring and emerging challenges loom ahead.
In many communities across the globe, women, men, and children still lack basic access to affordable and safe healthcare services and proper nutrition. As a result, one in five children worldwide do not receive the most basic vaccines. Millions of children, mostly in developing countries, die each year or suffer permanent impairments because they lack proper nutrition. Many of the same individuals with limited access to health services also lack the infrastructure and public services crucial for providing safe and healthy environments. In 2011, 2.5 billion people, more than 1/3 of the world’s population, lacked access to improved sanitation facilities and close to 800 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Women and girls, in particular, are often disproportionately affected by lack of access to basic maternal health services, proper sanitation and health information.
The Need to Build on Success and Create New Solutions is Urgent
Progress demands continued efforts towards developing new low-cost, life-saving technologies, improving capacity and delivery systems and expanding evidence-based research and knowledge networks.
Advancing the health and wellbeing of communities worldwide is at the core of CAMRIS’ mission. Our work in global health addresses critical issues affecting women, men, children and communities around the globe. At all levels, CAMRIS engages with national governments, donors, non-government organizations and the private sector to address health challenges related to HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, family planning and reproductive health, sanitation and hygiene, tuberculosis, malaria and nutrition. Through approaches that are collaborative, innovative and sustainable, we strive to minimize the risk and impact of illness and empower people and governments to improve health outcomes.
We contribute to evidence-based decision-making in global health by improving program effectiveness, building the capacity of health professionals and addressing global challenges such as malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious and tropical diseases. We help governments strengthen their health systems and manage their health programs. Our programmatic expertise includes program design and management, capacity building and organizational learning.
We adhere to the internationally recognized global health principles of:
- Gender equality
- Country ownership
- Health systems strengthening
- Private sector engagement
- Coordination and integration
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Research and innovation
- Capacity building
We apply our expertise to meet developing countries’ needs in:
- Maternal and child health
- Family planning and reproductive health
- Neglected tropical diseases
- Pandemic influenza
- Other infectious diseases
- Environmental health
Under the USAID Global Health Support Initiative-II (GHSI-II) contract, CAMRIS provides expert technical assistance, including master- and doctorate-level mid-career or senior health professionals, to the USAID Bureau for Global Health (GH), regional USAID bureaus and overseas USAID missions.
As prime contractor for GHSI-II, CAMRIS provides content experts to USAID for technical assistance across a range of activities in the Global Health technical areas of HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases (including malaria and tuberculosis), neglected tropical diseases, maternal/neonatal/child health (MNCH), nutrition, as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene. Under the contract, CAMRIS also provides policy advisors for the Global Health Security Agenda to help prevent avoidable epidemics, detect threats early, and respond rapidly and effectively to biological threats of global concern.
CAMRIS developed a tailored set of processes and systems and integrated these into the GHSI-II Platform to support project activities. CAMRIS consistently recruits, hires, and manages highly qualified candidates to help Global Health meet its objectives. CAMRIS works in close collaboration with USAID requesting offices to articulate their recruitment needs and position requirements. Program management and human resources staff assist with the logistics of interviews and candidate selection. CAMRIS quickly scans and distills hundreds of applicants’ resumes and selects exceptional subject matter experts to meet the dynamic requirements of the USAID Bureau for Global Health.
Under GHSI-II, CAMRIS has provided the USAID Bureau for Global Health with approximately 250 non-direct hires including technical, professional, operational, and support staff over the life of the project to supplement the bureau’s health and management professionals and to support USAID’s health programs at USAID/Washington and regional bureaus and missions abroad.
Within the technical areas listed above, GHSI-II personnel’s responsibilities include a broad range of specialized tasks and functions, including but not limited to the following:
- Project/program leadership.
- Project/program planning, design, scheduling, implementation
- Monitoring and evaluation.
- Performance monitoring and measurement.
- Reporting and documentation of project/program results.
- Communications service and briefings with USAID and foreign country stakeholders.
- Program integration services.
- Policy and budget formulation.
- Program management assistance with intra- and interagency coordination.
A comprehensive review of the performance, impact, and lessons learned of USAID’s 20-country Tuberculosis Control Assistance Program (TB CAP).
A CAMRIS-led team analyzed past and present TB CAP activities and management through a desk review of TB CAP documents and materials, field visits to four TB CAP countries, meetings with technical agencies and donors, as well as interviews with stakeholders in 16 other TB CAP countries, including missions, TB CAP partners, and national TB programs.
The review outlined TB CAP’s collective performance, impact, and lessons learned, as well as its attainment of various technical results. The evaluation also measured impact in individual TB CAP countries against the goals and objectives set by the World Health Organization’s global Stop TB Partnership in a collaborative, efficient, and cost-effective manner.
Assess the national health sector in El Salvador to identify needs in the areas of service provision, administrative and management systems, and human resources that could be addressed with USAID support over a five-year strategy period.
The CAMRIS team reviewed relevant documents, interviewed stakeholders, analyzed interview results for prevailing themes, explored opportunities for intersectoral synergies, and visited field sites with good intersectoral collaboration to learn from best practices.
The assessment reported on main results achieved and lessons learned to date and identified gaps to be addressed, with conclusions and recommendations organized by five thematic areas:
- Policy and legislation.
- Quality of services.
- Intersectoral collaboration.
- Private sector involvement.
Advance global understanding of health and population trends in developing countries.
CAMRIS was a subcontractor on the third phase of the Monitoring and Evaluation to Assess and Use Results (MEASURE) Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) project. With more than 240 surveys conducted in over 90 countries, MEASURE DHS has earned a worldwide reputation for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating accurate nationally representative data. Survey types include:
- Standard Demographic and Health Surveys
- Interim DHS
- AIDS Indicator Surveys
- Malaria Indicator Surveys
- Service Provision Assessments
- Collection of biomarkers and measurements
- Geographic information systems
CAMRIS staff on the DHS III contract assisted and conducted DHS activities in Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and the prime contractor’s Washington-area headquarters. USAID and other donors, governments, and international health organizations use DHS results to inform their program planning and implementation in HIV/AIDS; tuberculosis; malaria; maternal, neonatal, and child health; family planning and reproductive health; water supply and sanitation; and other global health concerns.
Develop an integrated nutrition framework to provide a clear roadmap and initiate capacity building for short- and long-term nutrition investments in Zambia, which ranks among the world’s worst in rates of undernutrition, malnutrition, and child nutritional stunting.
A comprehensive assessment of the dimensions and causes of undernutrition in Zambia, including:
- Current policy environment, programs, and resources.
- Human resource capacities.
- Optional delivery mechanisms for nutrition services and products.
- Involvement of country-level stakeholders, including other donors and private sector.
- Management structure and capacity of U.S. Government donor support, including its comparative advantage.
The CAMRIS team developed an integrated framework for repositioning nutrition and food security through:
- Capacity building and institutional strengthening in the areas of training and program roll-out.
- Strengthening agricultural extension.
- Upgrading professional nutrition training.
- Facilitating a nutrition advocacy initiative.
Build in-country technical expertise at Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) locations in sub-Saharan Africa to improve data received by policymakers and program managers.
Sustained workforce capacity building at the individual and institutional levels, addressing the specific needs of the data capture process. CAMRIS teams built and improved capacity through:
- Partnerships with training institutions.
- Local and regional workshops.
- Trainee follow-up.
CAMRIS DHS personnel helped their in-country counterparts in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe follow “best practices” using up-to-date methodologies, tools, and processes. CAMRIS staff provided training in conducting surveys and advised data collectors and users in gathering, analyzing, translating, packaging, disseminating, and presenting data in appropriate formats to inform policymakers and program managers.
Assess USAID's Safe Motherhood and Newborn Care program in Bangladesh to document progress to date, identify challenges, and advise on adjustments needed.
A CAMRIS team interviewed stakeholders, reviewed documents, and visited program sites to observe activities and talk with staff and clients. The final assessment identified innovations to the program’s entry into remote rural communities, including:
- Careful and extensive stakeholder preparation and involvement before implementation.
- Community mapping.
- Adaptation of a new program management system.
- Other community mobilization activities.
The CAMRIS team recommended further innovations to increase institutional sustainability and scale up the program, including refinements to the program’s maternal/neonatal health model, flexibility in applying it to local conditions, and continued support for community action groups—a vital part of the community mobilization strategy—that were leading to behavior changes in newborn care.
Provide recommendations for improving the access of Nigeria’s youth population to evidence-based, high-impact adolescent reproductive health services (ARH) services.
A CAMRIS-led team undertook a comprehensive review of current and past ARH programs in Nigeria. The review covered the mix of approaches, geographical spread, public and private sector involvement, and in- and out-of-school programs providing life- and job-skills development. In line with principles of the U.S. Government’s Global Health Initiative, the review looked at opportunities for girl-centered approaches that ensure delay in marriage and initiation of pregnancy and identified opportunities for collaboration with other partners and sectors, including education, HIV/AIDS, and youth development programs, for synergy and wider coverage of the youth population. The review also focused on best practices from Nigeria and other countries that consider cultural and religious sensitivities.
The CAMRIS review provided USAID and local Nigerian stakeholders with a detailed set of recommendations, organized across a results framework, for delivering ARH information, skills, and sound, integrated services in an enabling environment. The team’s report is available here.
- Strengthen the capacity of USAID-supported civil society organizations (CSOs) in Botswana to deliver HIV/AIDS and related health services.
- Strengthen CSO district-level systems and local government to coordinate and provide HIV/AIDS services in hard-to-reach areas.
A CAMRIS consultant developed a framework/model for collaborating with larger CSOs with national affiliates. The framework paid particular attention to:
- Strengthening management systems.
- Improving support to affiliates.
- Building affiliates’ management capacity.
Reviews of national- and district-level information/communication technologies, capacity building tools, and systems provided insights on:
- Advancing computer literacy.
- Increasing timely and thorough information sharing.
- Bolstering district-level government institutions.
USAID/Botswana used the CAMRIS findings to inform capacity building under its Civil Society Strengthening Project for HIV/AIDS and orphans and vulnerable children activities.