The USAID Health Care Improvement Project

USAID Health Care Improvement Project


The USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) is a five-year task order contract issued by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support countries in improving the quality and impact of health services. Guided by the vision that health care quality can be significantly improved by applying proven quality improvement methods, the HCI Project assists national and local programs to scale up evidence-based interventions and improve outcomes in child health, maternal and newborn care, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and reproductive health. The project also seeks to help countries expand coverage of essential services; make services better meet the needs of underserved populations, especially women; improve efficiency and reduce the costs of poor quality; and improve health worker capacity, motivation, and retention. Read more about current activities of the project.


The HCI Project builds on the successes of the Quality Assurance Project (1990-2007) which adapted approaches such as continuous quality improvement, improvement collaboratives, accreditation, and pay for performance to the needs of USAID-assisted countries.


University Research Co., LLC (URC) is the prime contractor for the HCI Project and all associated task orders. HCI Task Order 1, a three-year task order, was issued to URC in September 2007. HCI Task Orders 2 and 3 were issued to URC in September 2009. URC's partners on the USAID Health Care Improvement Project include: EnCompass LLC, Family Health International (FHI), Health Research Inc., Initiatives, Inc., Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (CCP), and Management Systems International (MSI).


HCI is working in Afghanistan, Benin, Bolivia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Priority areas

The mission of the USAID Health Care Improvement is working in the following priority areas:

·         HIV/AIDS

·         Human Resources/Workforce Development

·         Malaria

·         Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

·         Orphans and Vulnerable Children

·         Patient Safety

·         Reproductive Health

·         Tuberculosis

HCI's Improvement Tools -


Improvement Collaboratives

The improvement collaborative is an improvement method that brings together a large number of teams to work together in a system of shared learning, to rapidly achieve significant improvements in processes, quality, and efficiency of a specific area of health care, with intention of spreading these changes to other sites.


Improvement Methods

Methods for improving health care encompass a wide range of activities that seek to make health services safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. They can be applied by individual health workers or teams as part of everyday work or organized across many facilities and providers or even health care organizations.


Research and Evaluation

HCI's research and evaluation program seeks to support a learning system by which project staff, country counterparts, and the broader international community can study and draw lessons from country experiences to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health care improvement efforts. Of particular interest to HCI are issues related to implementing and sustaining improvements in health care, such as documentation, spread, institutionalization, knowledge management, and cost-effectiveness.


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