PAN has had a dynamic and active partnership with the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS since 2011, a partnership that is currently evolving with an exciting new shift to a “program science” approach.
REACH is a national partnership of people living with HIV, community-based organizations, front-line service providers, health researchers and federal, provincial and regional policy makers working to create meaningful links between research initiatives. REACH was recently 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).
At the recent PAN Fall Conference Janice Duddy, PAN’s Manager of Evaluation delivered a program science presentation and developed a Program Science Primer to help explain the concept to community-based organizations (CBOs).
In reality this is not a new idea for CBOs 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.
Questions? Feedback? Get in touch! Janice Duddy, Manager of Evaluation [email protected]