Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC)

Speeches Shim

The Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) will build a global network of university researchers to provide USAID with rapid, on- demand expertise across all sectors and geographic areas.

This technical assistance will help USAID Missions, Bureaus and Independent Offices make evidence- based, strategic choices and programming decisions, drawing on the combined expertise of more than 250 academics affiliated with 128 organizations. 

Specific examples of technical assistance that RTAC will provide for USAID include: 

  • Preparation of in-depth research and evidence-based reports.
  • Development of easily understood research communication materials like summary reports or evidence-based policy briefs with recommended courses of action for USAID Missions.
  • Support for technical meetings such as expert panels, USAID stakeholder convenings, forums, and other gatherings in which the higher education community plays an important role. 
  • Consultations to inform the research activities, monitoring and evaluation plans, and program designs outlined in USAID strategies and Project Appraisal Documents (PADs).
  • Specialized training and advisement around specific technical sectors or issues.
  •  Other short-term technical assistance needs as identified by USAID.


NORC at the University of Chicago will lead USAID’s RTAC Consortium in establishing a network of university-based researchers across the countries and technical sectors in which USAID works. Their initial network is comprised of more than 250 faculty members, graduate students, postdocs, and 

lecturers affiliated with 128 organizations that are available to provide scientific and research-based technical assistance to USAID. This network will be institutionally and individually diverse, drawing a significant percentage of participants from minority-serving institutions in the United States as well as universities in the countries where USAID works. The RTAC award to the NORC consortium will run from 2018-2022 and the network of researchers will continue to grow and expand throughout this time period. 


  • DevLab @Duke University
  • Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD)
  • Arizona State University (ASU)
  • University of Chicago
    • The Harris School of Public Policy 
    • University of Chicago Center in Delhi 
    • International Innovations Corps 
    • Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflict 
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
  • Resilient Africa Network (RAN) at Makerere University
  • Centro de Investigación de la Universidad del Pacifico (CIUP)
  • Institute of International Education (IIE)
  • Population Reference Bureau (PRB)
  • Davis Management Group
  • Forum One