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SPACES Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning

About the Project

The Strategic Program for Analyzing Complexity and Evaluating Systems (SPACES MERL) project is an activity funded by USAID’s Global Development Lab and the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL) as part of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Innovations Program (MERLIN). This three-year activity leverages a suite of systems analytical tools and methodologies, including Social Network Analysis, systems mapping, modelling and qualitative approaches. The activity is being implemented from 2015 to 2018 by a consortium of organizations with expertise in systems and complexity, including the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University (Prime), Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI), LINC and Resilient Africa Network (RAN).

In Uganda, LINC is conducting an analysis of the health system nationwide utilizing systems mapping techniques to identify system-wide drivers, highlight leverage points, and provide strategic recommendations on health systems programming to USAID Uganda.

In Bangladesh, LINC is supporting the uptake of adaptive management for more effective market systems programming. Combining network analysis with qualitative systems inquiry, LINC’s research assesses and informs a set rapid iteration market systems pilot activities for ultimate scale-up or roll-back.

For USAID’s Global Health Bureau, LINC collaborated with SPACES partners to conduct the Global Health Supply Chain (GHSC) evaluation, utilizing network analysis to assess the longitudinal impact of HIV/AIDS and malaria commodity programming worldwide.

In 2016, the SPACES team authored the “Systems & Complexity White Paper”, a how-to manual for USAID missions, operating units and partners on the application of systemic design, monitoring & evaluation practices into international development programming. Read more about the white paper below.

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