In nearly 60 countries around the world, we improve people’s health and economic security, cultivate inclusive and resilient communities, strengthen public sector responsiveness and deepen capacity to sustainably utilize natural resources. Combating tuberculosis in Kyrgyzstan. Building governance skills among vulnerable women across the villages of Indonesia. Scaling clean energy finance in West Africa. Advancing our mission knows no boundaries.

We study root causes of health problems, zero in on system-level solutions and work with private and public providers to increase quality and expand access to needed care. All with a single goal: improving people’s health.

Unleashing Private Sector PotentialWe work globally to harness the full potential of the private sector to improve health outcomes. We identify opportunities to integrate the private sector as part of the total health system and use data to improve governments’ understanding of the private sector’s role with tools such as Private Sector Counts. We facilitate strong partnerships that improve access to needed care for all. Leading USAID's SHOPS Plus project, we partnered with local organizations to deliver close to 46 million priority health products and services and reached 36.4 million consumers with health information since 2017.


CLIENT: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

PROJECT: Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus

CLIENT: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

PROJECT: The Epidemiology and Prevention of Influenza Virus Infections in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Pregnancy Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network (PREVENT)

Combating Infectious DiseaseWe combat infectious disease through community mobilization, high quality program implementation, research and surveillance.InfluenzaFrom developing vaccination surveillance surveys to conducting epidemiologic studies on vaccine effectiveness within high-risk populations, we are working to understand the effect—and prevent the spread—of influenza across the world. Our international investigative study on the preventative value of the flu vaccine for pregnant women uncovered its significant effectiveness at decreasing risk of hospitalization.

CLIENT: U.S. President's Malaria Initiative


  MalariaOperating in 25 countries around the world, we are leading critical interventions to combat malaria. These range from indoor residual spraying (IRS) to durability assessments and distribution of insecticide-treated nets, and from social behavior communication and mobilization to local capacity building focused on strengthening entomological surveillance and research. In 2018, we protected nearly 19 million people from malaria, including more than three million children under five.

CLIENT: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)


TuberculosisIn Kyrgyzstan, a country with one of the highest tuberculosis (TB) burdens, we are employing a holistic approach to combat this disease. It encompasses limiting the transmission of drug-resistant TB strains, supporting equitable access to quality health care for vulnerable groups and strengthening the national healthcare system. Key interventions include repurposing unoccupied beds in TB hospitals, increasing outpatient treatment and increasing access and use of diagnostic and treatment services. This has led to a $1 million per year savings and increased investment focused on higher treatment completion rates.​ 

economic security

Enabling a family to be self-sufficient—or a farmer to get access to a market—can generate life changing results. From strengthening agricultural supply chains to uncovering which social safety net program delivers the best results. We focus on economic security as a fundamental building block to stability and wellness.

Strengthening Markets to Support Food Security and Economic GrowthWe are helping to strengthen Cambodia’s horticulture market system and catalyze economic growth to benefit farmers and other entrepreneurs. Starting with the buyer as the key entry point in the system, we have connected 29 buyers (such as aggregators and wholesalers) with more than 700 producers and service providers, helping them come together in commercial partnerships to address production problems, better manage supply chains and increase sales. To date, we have helped partners increase sales by $11 million, expand investment by $4.1 million and contribute to wider system-level change.

CLIENT: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

PROJECT: Cambodia Feed the Future Harvest II

Facilitating Self-Sufficiency through Workforce DevelopmentTo build the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of the career pathways approach, we conducted the first rigorous, multi-site evaluation of nine career pathways programs across the U.S. The career pathways approach aims to help low-skilled, low-income adults earn postsecondary credentials and increase earnings through a series of manageable steps leading to successively higher credentials and employment opportunities in local, in-demand jobs. In the study, eight programs sought to increase educational progress and the ninth focused on increasing earnings. Early results (18-24 months after enrollment) are shown on the right.

CLIENT: Administration for Children and Families (ACF)

PROJECT: Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE)

Helping Families Build Assets and Financial CapabilityIncreasing earnings, building assets and financial capability are the goals of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Programs. FSS combines stable, affordable housing with coaching and an escrow savings account that grows with participants’ earnings.Between 2007 and 2016, more than 36,000 households nationwide graduated from FSS—their average annual income increased by 80 percent. Upon the program’s 25th anniversary, we partnered with HUD to document FSS’s role in helping vulnerable populations progress towards economic security. To strengthen local implementation and enable effective performance management, we helped HUD develop an FSS guidebook and web trainings as well as a performance measurement system.Our independent evaluation of an FSS program offered in Lynn and Cambridge, Mass. in partnership with the nonprofit Compass Working Capital, found many positive results, including higher earnings and a decrease in cash welfare payments received. Our subsequent cost-benefit analysis found that the program’s benefits greatly outweighed its costs, suggesting important implications for scaling.

CLIENTS: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Oak Foundation

PROJECT: An Evaluation of the Compass FSS Programs


Our approach to strengthening governance is holistic. Enabling data and technology to power efficient and effective delivery of public services. Understanding the political economy to align incentives. Testing long-held social beliefs with pioneering methods. Sustainable development is built on responsive and accountable institutions, and our work is focused on strengthening that foundation.

Strengthening Capacity to Provide Quality Services for Vulnerable PopulationsIn Tanzania, we are strengthening systems at the national and local levels to improve access to quality services across the agriculture, education and health sectors, with a special focus on vulnerable populations. Working with the Government of Tanzania, we are overhauling and making interoperable all key public finance management systems, facilitating results-based health facility financing and using innovative, evidence-based approaches to guide allocation of the health workforce based on population needs. The result? Local governments can prioritize underserved populations in the planning and budgeting process and improve delivery of critical services.

CLIENT: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

PROJECT: Public Sector Systems Strengthening (PS3) Activity

Informing Criminal Justice ReformImprisonment is both socially and economically expensive, and is often justified as an effective deterrent to reoffending. We studied the relationship between prison length of stay and re-incarceration by analyzing individual records across the U.S. federal justice system. We found that cutting the average federal prison time of 3.3 years by 7.5 months—19 percent—could save vast sums of money with little effect on public safety. This would enable a reduction of 33,203 prison beds without any significant increase in a return to federal prison by those released.

CLIENT: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

PROJECT: National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP)

social equity & empowerment

Inclusive societies that provide opportunity for all to thrive are central to our mission. Our work focuses on empowering vulnerable populations through education, training and advancing the science of what works.

Expanding Knowledge of Early Care and EducationEarly learning experiences for 3- and 4-year-olds have profound effects on cognitive, language and social-emotional development. Because young children in informal care settings can be difficult to locate, their experiences are rarely included in research. We are partnering with researchers from Harvard University to conduct a large-scale longitudinal study that will help answer unresolved questions about the relationship between young children’s early learning settings of all types and children's outcomes over time. A goal of this study is to bridge the gap between research on early childhood and the decisions and major investments of public policymakers.

CLIENTS: Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative, Harvard University Graduate School of Education

PROJECT: Early Learning Study at Harvard

Empowering Women To Have a Voice and Implement Change

In Indonesia, women’s participation in village-level government is low due to barriers such as male and majority group domination and limited political skills and knowledge. To address this, we created a one-year course in partnership with PEKKA, a local NGO. The Paradigta Akademi builds self-empowerment, community organization and technical skills on village law for primarily low-income, disenfranchised women across 436 villages. In one year, more than 1,600 women completed the courses, leading to increased engagement in planning forums, regulation development and decision making.

CLIENTS: Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Government of Indonesia


Estimating the Prevalence of Human TraffickingEstimating the true prevalence of human trafficking is notoriously challenging. We developed and tested methods of estimating county-level prevalence of human trafficking in the U.S. The resulting estimation tool will enable earlier intervention and coordination of survivor support services.We also created a new data platform to improve the ability to evaluate programs and policies and identify areas to improve systems for human trafficking investigations. The data platform examines all human trafficking cases that have been processed by U.S. federal justice systems, from investigation through prosecution, sentencing and incarceration.

CLIENT: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

PROJECT: Advancing Human Trafficking Prevalence Estimation; Exploring a New Data Platform for Research on Human Trafficking Investigation, Prosecution, Sentencing, Time Served, and Recidivism

Thriving natural environment

Environmental challenges are complex, and mismanagement of natural resources results in depletion, public health hazards and economic losses. Our work addresses the most pressing environmental challenges of our day: Understanding evolving climate change risks. Boosting clean energy financing for system- level change. Evaluating whether regulatory water-quality thresholds actually protect valuable marine life. And everything in between.

Deepening Understanding of Climate Change Related RisksAction comes with understanding of risks. The risks that climate change poses are multifaceted, from international security to public health.National Security RisksThis year we led the development of a new section within the Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) titled “Climate Effects on U.S. International Interests”.The section details the impact of climate change on U.S. security, trade and economics, development assistance and border issues—the very first time these topics have been covered in the NCA.CLIENT: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)PROJECT: Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment and Resilience (CEADIR)

Public Health RisksOur review of the effects of fossil-fuel related air pollution on children's health presents compelling evidence that exposures to PM2.5, NO2, PAH and PM10 adversely affect birth outcomes and neurobehavioral development and contribute to risk of asthma development in childhood. This first comprehensive review will help guide expanded assessments of health benefits of policies aimed at reducing the multiple threats of fossil fuel pollution.

CLIENTS: Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship Program and the John Merck Family Foundation

PROJECT: Assessment of Benefits to Children's Health of Reducing Air Pollution

Building Capacity To Unleash Clean Energy Markets, Sustainable Landscapes and More

In 33 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, we have helped make the business case for clean energy, sustainable landscapes and adaptation. We've developed vulnerability and impact analyses, clean energy lending and market assessments, low-emission business models, adaptation financing strategies and facilitated private sector engagements and training on the economics of climate mitigation and adaptation.

Results include an additional 6.8 megawatts of clean energy in West Africa and 10 public-private partnerships in India. In addition, we helped mobilize more than $17.6 million in clean energy lending across the countries served.

CLIENT: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

PROJECT: Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment and Resilience (CEADIR)

Advancing the State of Scientific Knowledge—From Space to SeaSpace WeatherSpace weather are conditions created by the sun, solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere near Earth’s space environment that impact our planet. Although the hazards have been long recognized, they have been unquantified to date.Our pioneering study on space weather established a robust understanding of how to measure and mitigate its impacts. Our research focused specifically on space weather effects on: electric power, satellites, global navigation satellite systems users and aviation. We captured expenditures that help protect technologies, estimated physical damage to equipment and investigated the potential hazards to humans.CLIENT: National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)PROJECT: The Social and Economic Effects of Space Weather

Water Quality RegulationsTo better understand potential adverse effects of mining on salmon populations in the sensitive Bristol Bay watershed of Alaska, we used water from Alaska and recreated the unique water quality characteristics from the region, focusing on copper as the primary contaminant of concern.Our research determined the concentrations of copper that kill larval rainbow trout, a close relative to many salmon species, and the concentrations of copper that inhibit their sense of smell—critical for predator avoidance, prey capture and migration. We found that current regulations used by the state of Alaska may not be protective of adverse sublethal effects. U.S. EPA-endorsed regulations are more protective but also may not be sufficient.

CLIENT: Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust

PROJECT: Copper Toxicity Assessment in the Bristol Bay Watershed

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