Start Center - Strategic Analysis, Research & Training Center

START Center Projects


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Lessons Learned from Covid-19 Modeling to Policy in Washington State

The START team documented how evidence from modeling and analytics was used to inform policy in Washington State’s COVID-19 response and identified lessons learned from this experience—which can inform research-policy partnerships, policy decisions, and formation of responsive systems to address public health emergencies in the future.

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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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Contraceptives Co-Administration

The START team conducted a landscape analysis of existing contraceptive co-administration products, identified novel opportunities for contraceptive co-administration, and conducted a ranking of these opportunities within three user groups.

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The START team conducted a landscape analysis of family planning surveys to explore the possibility using surveys that collect data on contraceptive use, including DHS and PMA 2020, to monitor changes in availability and use of contraceptives and condoms by adolescent girls and young women in DREAMS districts.

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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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DRC Survey

The START team used a multi-pronged approach to provide a broad overview of the trends and indicators in the DRC for sectors including health, finance, and infrastructure.

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India, Under 5 Mortality

The START team conducted a literature review of examples of successful and unsuccessful diffusion of programs and interventions aimed at reducing maternal, child, and neonatal mortality in India.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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