Start Center - Strategic Analysis, Research & Training Center

START Center Global Program Project List

Below is a representative sample of projects START Center teams have worked on with accompanying project deliverables or summaries for each.



Advancing Equity in Ultra-High Net Worth Philanthropy

The START team conducted key informant interviews and literature review in order to recommend definitions for three core types of equity giving: racial, gender, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-aligned. The team also presented adaptations of these definitions for the India and China geographies, as well as an assessment of where in the philanthropic lifecycle the proposed definitions should be used and measured against.

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Area-Based Teamwork for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

The objective of this project was to review the literature on area-based teamwork for maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) or inter-facility collaboration, and to identify critical gaps in the literature to better understand the potential for impact to help shape future investments in this area.

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Associations Between STIs and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

The START team examined the association between seven key STIs and nine adverse pregnancy outcomes globally, with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to continue building a comprehensive case regarding the impact of STIs on women’s health to inform recommendations for investment pathways in STI prevention, treatment, and diagnostics for the Gates Foundation.

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Biomarkers of Gut Health for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

The START team conducted a systematic review of environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) to delineate the distribution of EED biomarkers and extract associations between EED biomarkers and health outcomes among women of reproductive age to support the design and implementation of future interventional trials.

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Case Study Analysis of Food Fortification Compliance Systems in Latin America

The START team built three narrative case studies on existing national food fortification programs in Chile, Costa Rica, and Guatemala to identify successful archetypes in monitoring & evaluation and sustaining adequate levels of fortification. A regional stakeholder analysis was also completed to understand regional support of fortification and how it impacts national programs.

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Characterizing the Global Burden of Hepatitis E Outbreaks

The START team undertook a systematic review of peer-reviewed and gray literature to create comprehensive documentation of the occurrence of hepatitis E outbreaks globally, which will help quantify the burden of hepatitis E disease, and inform future investments.

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The START team developed an R shiny cost-benefit tool that can be used for existing and new mosquito release programs that is generalizable across geographic settings, disease contexts, and mosquito release interventions. The tool includes mosquito release interventions for dengue prevention in Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, and for malaria prevention in Burkina Faso.

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Ebola Response Project

The START team conducted a comparison across a set of evaluation/recommendation reports generated as a result of the global health response to the 2014 Ebola Pandemic.

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Environmental Enteric Dysfunction Interventions 3.0

The Enteric and Diarrheal Disease Team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation engaged the START team to conduct a landscape analysis probiotic interventions in preterm infants, children under 5 undergoing immunosuppression therapy, or living in Low and Middle Income Countries.

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Existing Evidence on Barriers to Vaccinating Zero-Dose Children

The Strategic Analysis, Research & Training (START) Center was engaged by the Global Delivery Program Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to review existing evidence on barriers to vaccinating zero-dose children—commonly defined as those that have not received any routine vaccine—and interventions for finding and reaching them.

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Fecal Sludge Sensors

The START Center conducted a landscape analysis for the Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation team on available technologies to track trucks, quantify volumes of fecal sludge, and quantify solid composition of fecal sludge using peer reviewed literature, gray literature, product catalogs, and key informant interviews.

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Food Fortification in Latin America, Phase 2

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commissioned START to aid the Nutrition Program Strategy Team in a scope aimed to deepen understanding of fortification compliance in Costa Rica and Guatemala through key informant interviews, focusing on industry practices, regulatory bodies, coordination, and cooperation. This work, focused on primary research, built on a phase 1 scope that focused on secondary research.

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Gender and the Primary Health Care System

The START team conducted research through literature reviews and key informant interviews to determine the major drivers and barriers to the uptake of digital tools for primary health care by women and girls in LMICs, and three countries in particular: India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

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Gender and Vaccination

The START team worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF) Vaccine Delivery (VxDel) team to develop an understanding of opportunities for their work to reflect a growing gender equity focus across the Foundation by conducting a literature review and developing hypotheses for potential further exploration.

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Gender-Related Factors Affecting Immunization And Healthcare Seeking Behavior In Nigeria And Related Contexts

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Polio team enlisted the University of Washington's Strategic Analysis, Research & Training (START) Center to execute a literature review to identify and describe gender-related factors affecting vaccine demand and healthcare seeking behavior in Nigeria to inform the creation of study instruments being designed for research on polio in Northern Nigeria.

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Giving to Advance Equity

The START team conducted research to determine the major facilitators for everyday donors to causes related to gender equality, racial equity, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and created a repository of information of products, tools, and research that promote giving at these levels.

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Global Health Programs and Partnerships: Evidence of Mutual Benefit and Equity

To inform further development of equitable and effective global health partnerships, the START team collaborated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to examine the mutual benefit of international partnerships in global health programs and to develop a strategic roadmap to guide North American academic institution global health programs and their international institution partners.

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Gut Health Digest

In October 2016, the START Center launched the Gut Health Digest to support the Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases and Discovery teams at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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HPV Natural History

The START team conducted a literature review of studies published from 2019 - June 2023 on HPV Natural History and resolved issues with extracted information from articles identified in a previously conducted literature review. Results will be used to inform a cervical cancer model in order to better estimate the impact of potential HPV and cervical cancer prevention strategies. 

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Landscape Analysis of Campaign Quality Metrics for Poliovirus Immunization

The START team performed a landscape review of methodological and technical advancements within and beyond the health and humanitarian sectors in order to improve post-Supplemental Immunization Activity (SIA) vaccine coverage evaluations for polio, which may help achieve the ‘last mile’ towards successful eradication.

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Mapping Stakeholders and Best Practices in the Movement for Women's Leadership

The START team conducted a literature review and 4 key informant interviews to identify key stakeholders and best practices in the movement for women’s leadership. Project work included a deep dive on gender quotas and a framework of stakeholder influence and relevance to strategy. This project is a follow-up to 2022's Women's Leadership in Global Health in Sub-Saharan Africa and India project.

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MNCH Discovery & Treatment Digest

In October 2017, the START Center launched the MNCH Discovery & Treatment Digest to support the Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases and Discovery team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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National Climate Finance Plans

The Development, Policy & Finance (DPAF) team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation engaged the START Center to gain a clearer picture of existing national climate finance plans, as they relate to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and their key features, strengths, and weaknesses by conducting a review of key documents and through key informant interviews.

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Neglected Tropical Diseases: Women and Girls in Focus

The START team conducted a literature review of evidence in three thematic areas concerning gender considerations in NTDs: impact of NTDs on women and girls, delivery of NTD programs by women and impact of women in the workplace, and reach of the MDA platform and access by women and girls.

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Nutrition DAE

The START team conducted a review of large household surveys, health management information systems, and global nutrition databases to assess how nutrition data are collected and made available on a global scale.

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Performance Management and Accountability

To inform a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Working Group’s understanding of the field of performance management in health delivery, the START team conducted a comprehensive evidence review of literature from the fields of management, healthcare administration, and global health, identifying gaps in evidence and areas for future exploration.

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Reframing the HPV Vaccine

The START Center performed literature reviews to understand the underlying barriers to parental acceptance of the HPV vaccine for their adolescent daughters aged 9-14 years, assess the relationship between HPV vaccination and increased sexual activity in adolescence, and understand if parental amenability to the HPV vaccine for their daughters changed if the vaccine was aligned with cervical cancer prevention rather than with sexual and reproductive health.

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Review of Measures of Sexual Behavior

The START team conducted a targeted review of sexual behavior survey instruments and guidelines to generate recommended sets of survey measures corresponding to core model inputs. The Gender Equity and Global Health Division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will utilize research findings to inform how future data is collected by BMGF grantees so that modelers receive the needed input for model creation.

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START conducted a case study analysis of five major fundraising events to understand key factors that led to the virality of these campaigns, and the immediate and long term impacts of these campaigns on the individual non-profit recipients, and on the overall non-profit fundraising sector.

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The START Center team responded to a project request from Children’s HeartLink (CHL), an organization that supports capacity-building of pediatric surgical care in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), to conduct a rapid assessment of CHL’s current model and to develop recommendations to support scaling.

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START Researchers examine the impact of vulnerabilities, social constraints, and access to public and private health facilities on the utilization of MNCH services in Nigeria

The START team performed data extraction and calculation of Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH) indicators from Nigerian national health surveys and conducted a literature review on demand and utilization of MNCH services as they relate to vulnerabilities, social constraints, and differences in the public and private health sectors.

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START reviews alternatives to the Human Landing Catch

The START team conducted key informant interviews, and a synthesis of two recent literature reviews, to summarize the global and regional perspectives on the need for a replacement to the human landing catch, in order to aid future funding decisions.

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START reviews how gender interfaces with routine immunization strengthening in Polio high risk geographies

The START team conducted a review on academic and grey literature, as well as key informant interviews, to identify how gender interfaces with routine immunization activities in 10 focus geographies. These interactions were not limited to equal coverage of antigens, but included the influence of dynamics at the individual, household, community, health system, and policy level.

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START Team Identifies Vaccine Gaps & Opportunities

The START Center conducted a review of country-specific Gavi documents for the Vaccine Delivery team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in order to assess the challenges, successes, and current focus for immunization activities in a variety of low and middle income countries, and to identify and evaluate patterns across health system domains as well as between country categories as defined by the foundation.

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STIs as a Cause of Infertility in Sub-Saharan Africa

The START team conducted literature reviews of studies assessing the association between five key STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, T. vaginalis, M. genitalium, and syphilis) and both pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Literature was also reviewed to identify evidence of an association between PID and infertility directly. This series of literature reviews was used to generate data visualizations and a ranked list of the STIs in terms of importance and relevance for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Women's Health Innovations Program Strategy Team.

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The Economics of Academic Publishing

START conducted a landscape analysis on the Open Access publishing environment and delivered placemats summarizing trends in the Open Access research and manuscript publishing landscape as well as potential policy opportunities that the Foundation can integrate into their current Open Access policy.

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The Impact of Climate Change on Public Health in Humanitarian Settings

The START Center, in conjunction with the Emergency Response team within the Global Development Division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, developed a comprehensive report exploring the escalating impact of climate change on public health in humanitarian settings. In particular, climate events and associated public health outcomes were explored for hurricanes & infectious disease in Haiti, drought & malnutrition in Ethiopia, and flooding & infectious disease in Pakistan.

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Vaccination Coverage Data Quality Incentives

The START team conducted a review on published literature, identified a guiding conceptual framework, and interviewed experts from global programs focusing on vaccination projects. START provided an evidence database that lists the different successful interventions for improving vaccination coverage data quality, along with lists of barriers and facilitators.

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