PAN has had a dynamic and active partnership with the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS since 2011, a partnership that has evolved with an exciting new shift to a “program science” approach.
REACH is a national partnership of people with lived experience with HIV or HCV, community-based organizations, front-line service providers, health researchers and federal, provincial and regional policy makers working to create meaningful links between research and evaluation initiatives. In 2014, REACH was refunded under a CIHR HIV/AIDS Centres Grant and is in the process of shifting priorities to become “REACH 2.0.”
REACH 2.0 is working to create an innovative, virtual, nation-wide laboratory for intervention research, participatory evaluation and applied program science in HIV, other STIs and hepatitis C (HCV).
But what is program science?
Program science can be defined as promoting “collaboration and integration between programs and science to improve the ways programs are designed, implemented and evaluated to accelerate and increase health impact” (Program Science Meeting Report, May 3-5, 2010. Rome, Italy).
In reality program science is not a new idea for community-based organization as it works to formalize the way organizations have been intuitively working for years. It is about supporting the continuous process of asking questions. Gathering information while programs are happening – during their planning, implementation and evaluation phases – to support program improvements and to allow for the scale-up and transfer of effective programs to other locations and populations.
PAN has developed and gathered number of program science resources:
- PAN’s program science presentation
- PAN’s Program Science Primer
- Universities Without Walls Program Science Module
- REACH’s Program Science videos and presentations
- REACH hosted Ancillary Event at CAHR 2015 called Program Science in Practice
- CAHR 2015: Program Science: Innovations and Pragmatics Approaches to End HIV Epidemics in Canada
- CATIE’s HIV in Canada: A primer for service providers