EVIDENCE: Evaluations to inform decisions using economics and epidemiology

EVIDENCE (Evaluations to Inform Decisions using Economics and Epidemiology) is a 5-year HIV/AIDS project funded by PEPFAR through USAID. With the project lead in South Africa, the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO), we conduct health economics and epidemiology research in support of the goals of the South African National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STI’s 2017-2022 (NSP) and the PEPFAR Country Operational Plans 2018-2022. BU faculty and staff work closely with HE2RO on project evaluations, cost modeling, outcomes research, and financial management to improve guidelines, policies, programs, and resource allocation.

In South Africa, the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO), a collaboration between Wits University in Johannesburg and Boston University (BU) in the U.S., is a go-to provider of policy- and program-relevant evidence for the South African Government, international funders such as PEPFAR, and international technical organizations like the WHO.

Instrumental to the establishment and growth of HE2RO over the past twenty years has been a series of cooperative agreements from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  USAID support has served as both core funding for the organization and project funding for dozens of studies and publications. Grants were originally awarded to Boston University, which then subcontracted HE2RO, but in the past two cycles, HE2RO has served as the primary grantee, attesting to the capacity for both grants management and technical leadership developed in South Africa.

In 2019, HE2RO was awarded a new five-year cooperative agreement from the U.S President’s Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID South Africa for the EVIDENCE program. EVIDENCE–Evaluations to inform Decisions Using Economics and Epidemiology–is a program of applied research and evaluation, including cost and cost effectiveness analysis, cost modelling, and epidemiological analysis, aimed at assisting the South African Government to achieve the goals of its National Strategic Plan on HIV, TB and STIs (2017-2022), national and international 90-90-90 targets, and PEPFAR objectives.

The Department of Global Health (DGH) at the Boston University School of Public Health is EVIDENCE’s major technical partner. Under EVIDENCE, the BU team, which includes approximately ten DGH faculty, provides expertise in health economics and epidemiology and technical advice and training across the entire program.

Some of the EVIDENCE activities that involve BU faculty are:

  • Examining the association between individual level factors, including HIV testing history and past engagement in HIV care, with linkage to HIV care
  • Demand creation for HIV testing and treatment among men to prevent leaks in the cascade
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) costs and outcomes in priority populations
  • Economic evaluation of the shorter multi-drug resistant TB regimen
  • Impact of differentiated models of HIV treatment delivery on the facilities and the health care providers and patients in those facilities
  • Private-public sector models of providing HIV and primary healthcare services
  • Optimized budgets for novel HIV and TB treatment, prevention and testing interventions

And many more! For information about individual EVIDENCE studies, please visit www.heroza.org.

Boston University investigators Sydney Rosen(PI), Matthew Fox, Gesine Meyer-Rath, Alana Brennan, Lawrence Long, Jacob Bor, Bruce Larson, Nancy Scott, Brooke Nichols
Partner investigators HE2RO
Countries South Africa
Project period 2019-2023
Funder USAID
Project website http://www.heroza.org/programs/evaluations-to-inform-decisions-using-economics-and-epidemiology-evidence/
Contacts Sydney Rosen, Matthew Fox, Lawrence Long