reviewed by scientific experts, the participation and capacity building of local investigators at multiple levels, and a clear plan of analysis. Involving implementers in evaluation design, implementation, and sharing of results is intended to contribute to ensuring independence and transparency of the evaluation.
Although PHE does not extend to basic or investigational clinical research activities, it will result in the production of studies of program activities, characteristics, outcomes, and impact, which can in turn be used to determine program effectiveness, compare program models, and answer operational questions for implementation. In FY 2007, PHE conducted a combination of country-funded studies (110) and centrally funded (18) studies. The studies were characterized by many common areas of evaluation, including treatment, TB/HIV co-implementation, and MTCT. A key strength of PHE is its ability to aggregate data and therefore maximize investments across countries, in contrast to TEs, many of which have been limited in terms of expert technical assistance; partner experience in methodology; comfort with sampling, statistical, and analytic plans; and access to tools. PHE can be useful in providing technical support and in connecting groups doing similar studies (that is, on drug adherence or infant-feeding interventions) so that outcomes can be measured in similar ways for purposes of cross-country comparison.