Arizona State University’s world-class researchers and scholars partner with international development funding agencies and implementers working in developing countries worldwide. Special emphasis is placed on partnering with USAID and its contractors, as a result, ASU is leading and partnering in USAID-funded projects in multiple countries and areas, from rule of law to solar engineering, education, teacher training and human rights. ASU has collaborated on more than $65 million in USAID grant-awarded projects, spearheaded by 90 ASU researchers since 2013.
Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT)
Based on the pillars of institutional policy, quality, curriculum, faculty innovation and technology, BUILD-IT was established at ASU in 2015 with funding support from USAID. In partnerships with a growing industry alliance, this program leverages diverse government-industry-academic partners whose shared goal is to produce highly qualified STEM graduates who can lead inclusive, technology-based growth in Vietnam.
BUILD-IT strengthens higher education policy, embedding world-class institutional policy practices within rectors and senior leadership in Vietnamese universities. BUILD-IT enables university-private sector collaboration, developing curricular partnerships, mentorships, and industry sponsored experiential opportunities in innovation spaces, and builds students’ professional and technical competencies through applied project and problem based learning in preparation for STEM careers. BUILD-IT also facilitates student-industry engagement events, launches campus based-programs providing female mentors in STEM careers; and hosts Women in STEM Leadership forums supporting academic initiatives and scholarships for females in STEM degrees.
The program enables universities to improve academic programs and outcomes through the Certified Facilitator and Master Teacher programs to create sustainable long-term faculty development and wide-scale implementation of innovation and modern methodologies. BUILD-IT also partners with Vietnamese National Accreditation Institutes in developing quality assessor training for national impact. Partner institutions also participate in university, academic program, and course quality training, establishing robust assessment and evaluation systems to support continuous program improvement and international recognition and accreditation.
Global Development Research Scholars
Launched in 2014, ASU’s Global Development Research (GDR) Scholars Program brings technical expertise and collaborative research capacity to international development. Backed by USAID’s successful Research and Innovations Fellows Program, ASU’s GDR Scholars’ efforts deploy early career scholars around the globe to pursue projects in health, education, economic growth, biodiversity, human trafficking, gender supply chain management, energy, water, innovation and entrepreneurship. As of 2017, 54 ASU scholars have worked in 22 countries, contributing to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development goals.
ASU assesses partner’s needs and identifies prospective GDR scholars with matching expertise and interests. Scholars can choose from more than 400 projects. Projects and deliverables are custom-designed to meet partner needs, fusing flexibility and real-world application with academic rigor. Participating student scholars receive rigorous training monitoring and evaluation and work from a customized month-month project plan under the supervision of an experienced ASU faculty expert.
Global Locust Initiative - Senegal
The Global Locust Initiative works to study and manage locust outbreaks with a grant from the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (part of the U.S. Agency for International Development). This is the first time an ASU program has been awarded an OFDA grant. Led by Director Arianne Cease, will run a pilot project to test whether soil amendments to millet fields in Kaffrine, Senegal, decrease locust outbreaks, improve millet yields and increase farmer livelihoods. The initiative is also pursing projects in China, Argentina and Canada.
Testing on a larger scale, starting in March 2019, the Global Locust Initiative team will work with local Kaffrine partners, 40 farmers in five villages, and other on-the-ground teams such as women’s groups. To test these principles on a larger scale, the USAID study will be conducted for a year starting in March 2019 and the Global Locust Initiative will work with local Kaffrine partners, 40 farmers in five villages, and other on-the-ground teams such as women’s groups.
Higher Education Activity in Malawi (HEAM)
The primary objective of this projected 4-year USAID-funded activity is to increase Malawi’s skilled, employable workforce by increasing access to higher education, especially for vulnerable populations, by focusing on high-demand employment subjects and training programs.
The three main components of the program are: 1) to design and administer a financial assistance program that will provide long- and short-term tuition scholarships for vulnerable populations, especially adolescent girls and young women; 2) to develop a new model for open and distance learning centers, to establish those centers in six districts of the country and to collaborate with public universities; and 3) to improve bridging of university education to the labor market.
Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP)
Established in 2010 with funding support from USAID and Intel, HEEAP is modernizing engineering education at Vietnam’s leading technical universities and vocational schools. The program helps accelerate economic development by preparing a highly trained workforce in Vietnam to boost the growth of high-tech industries throughout Southeast Asia. Since HEEAP’s inception, hundreds of faculty members from Vietnam have received high-level instructional training, and a distance-education network has been established to allow students on multiple campuses in Vietnam to get instruction in the same courses simultaneously. In addition, HEEAP is supporting a program to train education leaders in Vietnam on the administration of technical education institutions.
In 2012, Intel received the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence for its efforts with HEEAP. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed HEEAP as a prime example of innovative efforts to expand global economic opportunities, citing it as the kind of public-private partnership needed to produce an educated workforce prepared to compete for jobs in a 21st-century economy.
Holistic Water Solutions Initiative
Arizona State University and an international consortium of co-creators are leading a two-year, nearly $2 million USAID project to bring clean drinking water systems to the Middle East. Holistic Water Solutions will bring certified potable water to residents and refugees in areas of greatest need within Lebanon and Jordan.
Holistic Water Solutions integrates cutting-edge technology, sustainable business models, entrepreneurial training for women, and extensive community engagement. Among its key objectives is to assess how reliably this system meets long-term water security needs within the complex socio-economic conditions of the Middle East. This project was developed directly with USAID’s Middle East Water Security Initiative.
Shipshape Healthcare Supply Chain App
One of two winners out of more than 500 USAID/Gates Foundation Grand Challenge submissions, Shipshape is an engaging mobile education game for health care workers that teaches basic supply chain skills such as inventory management, stocking, forecasting, ordering and basic formulas.
ASU is partnering with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana to develop the app for initial release in Ghana, with plans to expand to Nigeria, Kenya and other developing countries in the future. The pilot, developed with ASU students in the ASU Luminosity Lab and tested through support from the Mastercard Scholars at ASU, was launched in Ghana in spring 2019. Upon final release, Shipshape will be free to download and will require no internet connection to play.
SolucionES Gang Violence Prevention
Arizona State University engages in research, outreach and education that advances our understanding of the rule of law in our rapidly changing world. Expertise of faculty and schools including the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions focus on democracy, human rights, conflict resolution, crisis, and governance and its importance to development.
Projects at the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety include ongoing research focused on criminal gangs and violence in Central America. Charles Katz, professor and director of the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety, is advancing research that serves to anticipate methods and approaches that could be used by third-country nationals to commit politically-motivated crimes. ASU is also contributing to USAID–funded SolucionES, a project to combat citizen insecurity and strengthen municipal responses to crime and violence in 50 dangerous communities in El Salvador.
The USAID-funded Center for Advanced Studies in Energy program is designed to jumpstart training, research and innovation in renewable energy in Pakistan. The program partners Arizona State University with two major Pakistani universities: the National University of Science and Technology-Islamabad (NUST) and the University of Engineering and Technology-Peshawar (UET).
ASU will leverage its expertise in higher education, university design, applied research, and energy to help Pakistan unleash its enormous potential for economic growth through its universities. Expected to become Pakistan’s premier energy think tank, the Center for Advanced Study in Energy will engage stakeholders in both industry and government. Sound governance and modernized curriculum and teaching strategies and methods will produce skilled graduates and applied research. It will set a new standard for supporting the success of both women and disadvantaged youth in the engineering profession.
Youth Mappers is a consortium of more than 145 universities in 41 countries empowering students to create open humanitarian mapping projects for direct use by USAID, Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and other partners. ASU is the administrative home for this USAID Higher Education Solutions Network funding, directed by Patricia Solis with School of Geographical Science and Urban Planning.