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Enhancing USAID’s

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We collaborate with USAID, a global network of university-based researchers, and development partners around the world to bridge the gap between research and action. Our goal is to improve people's lives by making development initiatives more effective.

Sutherland Miller lll
Principal Research Scientist
International Programs

Established in July 2018, the Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) is an ever-expanding global network of university-affiliated researchers providing USAID with on-demand research expertise and technical assistance support to promote evidence-based policies and programs. Through research, Research-to-Action plans, research utilization communications products, policy conferences, specialized training, and various other technical assistance activities, RTAC amplifies the impact of USAID’s development investments.

NORC at the University of Chicago leads the consortium of universities and specialized partners that implements RTAC.

In the past year, RTAC has completed a number of research, event, communication, training, and technical assistance activities, including:

  • Two major policy convenings: “Digital Tools and the Future of International Development,” co-led by Duke University in Washington, DC; and the multi-donor “2nd Annual Workshop on Increasing Research Impact: Research Translation” in Bangkok, Thailand.

  • Research-to-Action plans on land reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); scaling up Kangaroo Mother Care, which supports mothers with low-birthweight babies in Indonesia; diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (a skin infection caused by a single-celled parasite that is transmitted by the bite of a phlebotomine sandfly) in Tunisia; and treating tuberculosis in the Philippines.

  • Research translation and utilization communications products include a training guide for small-scale farmers in making compost or biochar from cocoa husks in Cameroon, a survey of research to improve wildfire deforestation in Colombia, a report and recommendations on land reform in the DRC, and an overview of strategies to enhance data sciences for improved education and employability in Morocco.

  • Specialized trainings for USAID on “Applying Digital Tools to Support the Journey to Self-Reliance” and “Using Research Evidence to Accelerate International Development Outcomes.”

  • A number of research activities, among them a Political Economy Analysis of Wildlife Trafficking in the Mekong Delta Region, a study on Regulatory Technology and Customer-Centric Financial Services in Resource-Poor Environments in Honduras, Food for Peace food security studies in Zimbabwe and Mali, and a Refugees Research Study in Kenya.