Strategic Program for Analyzing Complexity and Evaluating Systems
SPACES is a consortium created by the US Global Development Lab at USAID. SPACES consists of four key players: the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins, LINC, Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) and ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) who collaborate with USAID to help transform decision making and interventions.
SPACES aims to bring a variety of complex systems tools and methodologies to provide systems analysis and approaches to USAID missions and programs. The complex systems tools help to better understand and address the dynamic factors involved in international development.
SPACES brings systems awareness to international development through the following objectives:
- Analyze existing tools for adaptation to use cases and potential alignment and make recommendations for USAID
- Pilot systems-based tools including mapping, modeling, narrative- and indicator-based approaches to help USAID understand the impact of their missions and programs
- Provides USAID (and eventually, other decision makers, ranging from donors to implementing partners) with a comprehensive systems toolkit that can be used alone or in combination to better understand and address systems
Examples of Work
- In order to help Ethiopia more effectively transition to a more integrated and organized supply chain called the Integrated Pharmaceutical Logistics System (IPLS). SPACES is working with the Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency (PFSA) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) to ensure Ethiopia's supply chain supports their future healthcare needs. Using the GOPC's computational modeling software, the consortium is developing a simulation model of Ethiopia's healthcare supply chains to better understand its complex factors. The model serves as a
“virtual laboratory” to evaluate interventions
in order to demonstrate their operational/
- SPACES developed a systems map to help frame up USAID Uganda’s Health Project Appraisal Document (PAD). The systems map uses the six health systems building blocks (health services, health workforce, health information, essential medicines, health financing and governance) and highlights the key components in the system. The maps identify leverage points and provide strategic recommendations on health systems programming in Uganda.
- Zambia's Ministry of Health (MOH) is working with SPACES to quantify and characterize the current situation in regards to cross-border health seeking behavior. SPACES will also examine how different factors and scenarios impact health service delivery and commodity consumption. Understanding drivers of population in-flows will help improve the Zambian MOH's budgeting and planning.