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Improving the effectiveness of international aid

The challenge

Global health organisations play a pivotal role in supporting programmes and interventions in countries and communities facing the most pressing needs. With scarce resources, these organisations need a robust, transparent and fair process through which they can evaluate proposals and in turn allocate their funds across different initiatives to maximal benefit.

Central to this is having an evidence-based approach to economic evaluation which can quantify the impact of the project while also considering the objectives, values, and roles of funders, and input from a diverse array of stakeholders. Undertaking an economic evaluation in this area is complex, and several challenges arise around how best to measure outcomes and interpret the available data.

The Strathclyde contribution

Drawing on foundational research, including the development of new and innovative optimisation methods and evaluation frameworks, Strathclyde researchers have developed a best practice approach to conducting economic evaluations in this context, and interpreting their outcomes.

The goal of this work is to develop tools and approaches that let organisations better capture and assess the potential impact of initiatives they’re asked to fund, and then embed these within a new evaluation framework to support improved investment decisions and maximise the benefits that are achieved from the funding.

The impact

This work has led to significant improvements in how a range of organisations approach the evaluation and allocation of funding, in turn helping to support better investment decisions, and in time improved outcomes for people living in the most challenging circumstances.

This includes some who have embraced a new evaluation framework for their funding decisions – underpinned by this research – which has improved their analytical capabilities and helped reshape ongoing global-level investment cases.

One partner organisation – using this research –enhanced the robustness of countries’ case for support and aided policymakers in Bangladesh, Mozambique, and Sudan in allocating resources to maximise the benefit that is achieved. This research has also reshaped the partner organisation’s co-financing policy by providing a justifiable and intuitive rationale for cost-sharing between donor and recipient countries.

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Further information

For further information on this specific case study or in this area of research, key contacts are:

Contact details

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Strathclyde Business School
University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
G4 0QU

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