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SPACES supports the integration of systems thinking and approaches across the phases of the program cycle, from strategic planning to program design to monitoring and evaluation. Read more below about our completed activities around the world.


In Uganda, LINC conducted 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. The activity resulted in a map of the Ugandan health system that highlights key actors and institutions, and the relational dynamics and the linkages between them. The report identified and analyzed over twenty systemic leverage points within the system where concerted action might prove useful.

In Guatemala, LINC assisted the USAID/Guatemala Democracy and Governance Office (DGO) in developing a political economy system map to visualize the complex systemic dynamics that influence and effect Guatemalan governance system’s ability to deliver public goods to its citizens. The map was developed in parallel with a Political Economy Analysis (PEA) to help guide the DGO team in their decision-making and thinking in the lead-up to the next CDCS.

In March 2018, the team held a 2-day participatory mapping workshop with the DGO team to visualize the underlying factors that influence the current state of governance in Guatemala as well as a training session for USAID Guatemala mission staff on how to use Kumu, a visualization platform for mapping systems.


In Rwanda, LINC led a series of participatory systems mapping activities in Rwanda to analyze factors contributing to poor early grade educational outcomes. By convening a diverse group of stakeholders through a structured methodology, SPACES sought to increase the sustainability of both donor and local partner intervention strategies. More broadly, the pilot was used to assess how to integrate cutting-edge methodologies into education system diagnostics at USAID and DFID.

In Zambia, LINC, in partnership with USAID/Zambia, supported a cross-border health-seeking behavior study. LINC’s research of cross-border health policy and regulation coupled with intel-gathering from key informants via qualitative field visits were used to assist the Zambian Ministry of Health in identifying geographic areas where cross-border population inflows are affecting health service delivery and commodity consumption. Combined with the design and spatial analysis of district and facility- level service delivery catchment areas, this research highlighted the extent to which this phenomenon is causing border districts to experience an additional health system burden.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Research

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

In Tanzania, LINC conducted a mixed-methods evaluation of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Data Collaboratives for Local Impact Program, funded by PEPFAR. The evaluation integrated tools such as systems mapping and outcomes harvesting to understand the effectiveness of the program in accelerating data-driven decision-making in Tanzania as well as inform similar efforts in other countries.

In South Africa, LINC undertook an evaluation of the USAID-funded Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Programme in Health (ASELPH). Since 2013, promising leaders and managers in South Africa’s health system have received executive-level training and support to build their capacity to drive positive health system transformations. The evaluation used systems mapping and social network analysis to assess the extent to which the program has equipped ASELPH Fellows with new leadership skills and capabilities. LINC’s social network analyses among each of the five graduated cohorts assessed information sharing and collaboration among Fellows post-graduation.

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.