Translating Research into Action (TRAction) Project


URC is managing this health research grants project which focuses on maternal, newborn, and child health and related services in developing countries. The project addresses the “know–do gap,” the delay between the discovery of effective ways to combat the causes of mortality and morbidity and the application of these proven interventions on a wide scale. TRAction solicits proposals primarily on a competitive basis and awards grants to research organizations to evaluate ways to effectively and efficiently introduce, implement, and scale up evidence-based interventions for maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH).


Key Activities

  • In consultation with USAID, identify implementation research priorities and prepare Requests for Applications (RFAs) for the research sub-awards
  • Award and manage the research sub-awards primarily to host country and international research institutions
  • Oversee research and evaluative activities under the sub-awards program
  • Strengthen the research capacity of host country collaborators and maximize opportunities to involve new local partners
  • Contribute to advancing the state of the art of implementation research through sponsoring meetings and publications
  • Disseminate research results and support efforts to transform such results into practice



  • Awarded a grant to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to assess the impact of replacing the use of indoor residual spraying with long-lasting insecticidal nets on the prevalence of malaria in rural Tanzania
  • Undertook a landscape analysis and produced the report "Exploring the Evidence of Disrespectful and Abusive Childbirth," a compilation of evidence on disrespectful and abusive childbirth, its manifestations, causes and interventions. A preliminary report was presented at a satellite meeting on "Do No Harm: Building Evidence and Action for Dignified, Non-Abusive Maternal Health Care." The meeting facilitated an exchange among policymakers, programmers, and researchers interested in building evidence and taking action for respectful, non-abusive facility based care during childbirth.
  • Developed an RFA for "Implementation Research on Respectful and Non-Abusive Childbirth" posted mid September 2010
  • Hosted and facilitated a consultation called "Mind the Gap: Research & Evaluation Methods for Scaling Up Evidence-Based Interventions," involving senior researchers, policymakers and implementers of MNCH programs which reviewed and discussed the wide variety of research methods that could be employed to help accelerate the effective design, implementation and scale up of key evidence-based MNCH interventions in developing country health systems. The proceedings of the consultations are in preparation and will be posted on the TRAction website.
  • Announced an RFA to conduct an implementation research project in Bangladesh. The proposed research will test effective strategies to expand and improve maternal, newborn and child health, nutrition, population/family planning and tuberculosis services in Bangladesh
  • Undertook a landscape analysis of indoor air pollution and produced a report which describes the scientific evidence on the causes and health impact of indoor air pollution, the approaches that have been used to reduce indoor air pollution, especially improved cookstoves and fuel, and points out additional research needed.
  • Engaged USAID stakeholders in the identification of MNCH implementation research priorities.
  • Developed three RFAs for Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM): implementation research to be embedded in iCCM programs, costs and financing, and policy research.
  • Consultative meeting held to inform research on equity in maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) service delivery.
  • Consultative Meeting informed research regarding task shifting to improve maternal and newborn care (MNC).
  • A  presentation was made at the 2011 USAID Mini-University titled “Anemia, Beyond Being Tired: Definitions, Prevention and Control.”
  • An article, “Disrespectful and Abusive Treatment of Women during Childbirth,” was published in Global Health Magazine.
  • Background research conducted for RFAs addressing iron-deficiency anemia in Ghana; recognition and referral of neonatal complications; targeting of maternal and newborn services to high risk groups; integration of MNCH services; equity in MNCH service delivery; and task shifting within MNCH services. 
  • Background papers were prepared on anemia in Ghanaian children and task shifting to improve maternal and newborn care (MNC). 
  • Draft background papers were prepared on Equity in Health Care, Risk-based Targeting of MNCH Services, and Integration of RMNCH Services.
  • Performance Based Finance/Incentives for Quality of Care was discussed at a consultative meeting to strengthen research protocols awarded.
2009 to 2017
US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Harvard T.F. Chan School of Public Health
Regions/ Countries