In Tanzania, ASSIST engaged community groups to support the work of home-based care volunteers to improve access to HIV/AIDS services and retention in care in their villages using the project’s Community Health System Strengthening model. Photo credit: URC

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project

The Challenge

Improve healthcare, strengthen health systems, and advance the frontier of improvement science in USAID-assisted countries.

Overview and Objectives

URC was the lead implementer for the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) cooperative agreement of the Office of Health Systems in USAID’s Global Health Bureau.

URC and its partners achieved its objectives of:

  • Fostering improvements in a range of healthcare processes through the application of modern improvement methods by host-country providers and managers
  • Building the capacity of host-country systems to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, client-centeredness, safety, accessibility, and equity of the healthcare services provided
  • Generating new knowledge to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of applying improvement methods in low- and middle-income countries
  • Strengthening maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) and family planning/reproductive health services in Zika-affected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean
The USAID ASSIST Project provided long- and short-term technical assistance in 46 countries


USAID ASSIST built on the work of the USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI). From 2012 to 2020, USAID ASSIST operated in 46 countries, supporting quality improvement efforts for HIV and AIDS, MNCH, malaria, tuberculosis, Zika, orphans and vulnerable children, and non-communicable disease services at both facility and community levels. Refer to the Resources section below for documents that contain detailed project achievements and other related data.

The USAID ASSIST team curated a collection of 25 quality improvement resources that capture key learnings to help future projects in this space.

Video content is available on the USAID ASSIST Project YouTube channel.


Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Zambia

Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Global, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East

Community Health, Family Planning and Reproductive Health, Health Systems Strengthening, HIV/AIDS, Human Resources for Health, Infectious Diseases, Maternal and Child Health, Mental Health, Noncommunicable Diseases, Nutrition, Quality Improvement, Social and Behavior Change, Supply Chain, Tuberculosis, Vulnerable Populations


American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), EnCompass, FHI 360, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, HEALTHQUAL, Initiatives, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, WI-HER, World Health Organization (WHO)