In 2016, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) commissioned an independent evaluation of its Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Program. This evaluation, carried out on the program’s 10th anniversary, was conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health under the Global Health Program Cycle Improvement Project (GH Pro) contract.
The evaluation sought to answer four key questions: 1) How have the USAID NTD Program and implementing partners influenced global policy and best practices? 2) Is the USAID NTD Program’s current strategy the best approach for achieving the 2020 goals at the country level? 3) Has the USAID NTD Program built country capacity and country ownership of the program? and 4) Are USAID-supported countries on track to achieve the World Health Organization’s (WHO) NTD 2020 elimination and control goals for the diseases supported in the program?
In addition, this evaluation aimed to capture any unanticipated consequences of “at scale,” integrated mass drug administration programs in participating countries. The evaluation included a desk review of program materials, field visits to seven countries, telephone interviews with stakeholders, and an online survey of persons working with national NTD programs.
All in all, the program has documented successes in reaching persons in need. Although there has been a generally positive reception from countries to the capacity building efforts, the need remains in any future national efforts for better results dissemination and strengthened advocacy. The USAID program has played a global leadership and agenda-setting role while strongly supporting the WHO NTD Program Roadmap for Implementation.