This page is optimized for a taller screen.
Please rotate your device or increase the size of your browser window.
Abt Associates in Britain: What We Do and Where
Abt Associates in Britain focuses exclusively on international development. We work with the UK Government and other international development funders as we apply our technical expertise to complex problems and improve the quality of people’s lives around the globe.
We offer a wide range of skills and experience in climate and sustainable development, global health (including support for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout), governance, monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning. Equity is foundational to our work, and we have specialists working on equitable access, gender inclusivity, and diversity.
Abt Associates works in more than 50 countries worldwide. We have strong connections in the Indo-Pacific, with a permanent presence in more than 15 countries in the region.
Climate and Sustainable Development
Confronting the consequences of global climate change is the defining challenge of our times. Climate change threatens the wellbeing and development prospects of people, societies, and future generations across the world. As temperatures rise, increasingly volatile weather and the loss of protective natural ecosystems are exposing communities and countries to mounting risks. Climate change will harm infrastructure, food production, livelihoods, and human health. The poorest and most vulnerable, who did little to cause climate change and have little resilience to coming changes, are already being hit hard and have almost no chance of recovery.
The team at Abt Associates in Britain works with partners–including the UK Government through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office–to understand and plan approaches to tackle climate change. We think systemically through options to rebalance our relationship with the environment. We investigate opportunities to transform how land and natural resources are used to produce food and energy. We ask what incentives, policies, markets, education and health systems, and governance structures will help societies–from businesses to the poorest communities–flourish and thrive.
Abt is Committed to Addressing Climate Change
Backed by a global network of partners, we bring together experts with backgrounds in climate finance, global health, governance, economics, law, public policy, and communications. We use our expertise in data and policy analysis, modelling, planning, and adaptive management to deliver cross-cutting, imaginative, evidence-based programmes with impact.
One of the biggest challenges is reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Since 2016, Abt has led Clean Power Asia, to encourage investments in renewable, clean energy sources in the Lower Mekong region of Southeast Asia. This programme mobilised more than US$7 billion in renewable energy investments, delivering nearly 10,000 megawatts of capacity and preventing some 93 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent from being released.
Click to read more about the Clean Power Asia project.
In the land and agriculture sector, Abt works with farmers, resource managers, policy makers, the private sector, and others who play a role in sustainable natural resource management. In Ghana, Abt compared a range of climate-smart production options with business-as-usual farming methods to build a win-win business case for practices that both protected environmental resources and decreased financial risks, all the while delivering improved yields and incomes for farmers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown beyond a doubt the value of good health and the need for strong systems to support it. Governments around the world face the challenge of building health security, delivering essential health care, and maintaining progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals targets.
Abt Associates in Britain helps build resilient health systems. Backed by an established global network, we focus on supporting partners to advance Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and deliver better health outcomes on a sustainable and equitable basis.
Click to read more about the National Malaria Programme in Nigeria Phase 2 (SuNMaP2).
We work at scale to translate plans and resources into improved service delivery, partnering with national and local governments, service providers, and communities. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Abt and its delivery partners have sustained the delivery of essential MNCH and infectious disease control services despite the complex and fragile governance environment.
Click to read more about USAID’s Integrated Health Program in the DRC.
Since the pandemic began in early 2020, Abt Associates has been involved in multiple aspects of the response, from supporting research for vaccine development to delivering vaccines where they are most urgently needed. Now it will be critical to build back better with improved surveillance, better preparedness, and greater health system resilience.
That has always been part of Abt’s mission. We work with governments and stakeholders on health legislation, policies, and plans. This includes providing specialist advice and analysis to develop National Health Accounts or modelling the health benefits of improved air quality.
Adaptive management and putting learning into practice is at the heart of what we do. Abt supported monitoring and learning under the health sector programme in Nepal, has designed and implemented health information systems using DHIS2, and has a pedigree in robust independent evaluation and research.
Governance is about power, politics, incentives, and accountability. It encapsulates the processes by which states, non-state actors, and citizens come together and decide how resources are used and decisions made. Governance reform is central to tackling the underlying causes of poverty, inequality, patriarchy, and the lack of voice in a society.
Abt Associates in Britain knows how to convene different groups to solve complex governance, economic, climate, and service delivery problems. We do this in ways that are realistic, participatory, inclusive, and open. We help partners achieve results, while also building the foundations of more open societies. Unlike other governance providers, we do not see governance as a “narrow” sector, or an expensive, long-term process of state-building that gets “done” to a country. Rather, it is a way of thinking about change that cuts across all the work we do; and that empowers local actors to mobilise their own resources to solve the problems they face.
Our approach to governance builds on the global leadership provided through the Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice, which Abt’s Global Lead for Governance founded in 2013. This is complemented by Abt’s pioneering work on Adaptive Management, including a methodology for end-to-end adaptive programme delivery.
Abt is leading the Public Sector Systems Strengthening Activity (PS3+) to promote the delivery, quality, and use of public services, particularly for underserved populations. Abt is working to strengthen Local Government Authority systems to promote inclusive and evidence-based planning and the management and implementation of services across sectors, including health, education, and agriculture.
Click to read more about Strengthening Government Capacity in Tanzania.
In Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, Abt leads the Good Governance Fund Technical Assistance Facility Eastern Partnerships, which responds to those countries’ national government priorities. This has included strengthening the rule of law through anti-corruption measures and judicial reform; improving public financial management; energy sector reform and decarbonization; more equitable labour regulation; supporting women-owned small and medium enterprises, economic growth, and job creation; conflict mitigation and economic reintegration in Eastern Ukraine; and helping country partners facing current health and geopolitical challenges.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL)
Spending money on development interventions without monitoring and evaluating results is little more than wishful thinking. Measuring impact is fundamental to strategic programme design, learning, and outcomes—for beneficiaries, funders, and partners. But knowing what to measure and when, and how to track results so programmes can improve, is challenging. At the same time, to demonstrate impact and sustain support, development funders often want to distil clear, simple results from inherently complex processes in unpredictable and often fragile settings.
At Abt Associates in Britain, we apply our deep knowledge and skills in Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning, built on decades of experience across Abt Associates globally, to help funders and partners learn from their programmes and draw strategic lessons to inform future decision-making. Working with our funders and partners—primarily the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office—we measure impact, change, and value-for-money at the project, programme and portfolio levels with the aim of better understanding contribution, causality, and attribution.
Monitoring and Evaluation
We know how to design systems that help our clients understand and unpack the complex contexts in which they are operating, why change is (or isn’t) happening, whilst still being able to tell compelling stories of results and outcomes to domestic and global stakeholders. For example, we’ve pioneered methods such as theory-based evaluation, stories of significant change, and outcomes-mapping in Papua New Guinea to help clients explain how they have contributed to governance and health progress.
Our systems are not “one size fits all.” We understand they need to be tailored to context, existing capabilities, and country needs. We offer everything from digital solutions that can be built using simple spreadsheets to sophisticated digital software—depending on value for programme staff and clients’ requirements for efficiency. For example, we designed a simple, user-friendly dashboard using Microsoft Power Apps and PowerBI visualisation for a health governance programme in Brazil.
Research and Learning
We know our clients are looking for new approaches to help solve their performance and learning problems. So we constantly use our deep research skills to hypothesize, test, and innovate our existing methods. In Papua New Guinea, for example, we developed the world’s first assessment tool for adaptive management of primary health-care services.
Abt Associates is a market leader in adaptive programming, helping programmes determine the most efficient and effective way to achieve their objectives. Our teams have developed an end-to-end approach to adaptive management that enable politically informed, locally led, adaptive responses to development challenges.
Like our clients, we believe learning is crucial to achieve impact and inform better policy and programme decisions. We use innovative tools and methods—such as rapid cycle evaluations, strategy testing, and portfolio dashboards in the Nepal Portfolio Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning programme—to help reflect, learn and improve implementation in real time.