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Input: NIOSH Strategic Goals

The NIOSH CRC is in the process of developing formal strategic goals to guide our research and partnership efforts over the next decade.

NIOSH previously used "priority" topic areas (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular disease) to guide research efforts. Goals take this approach a step further by identifying specific outcomes that we want to target, performance measures for evaluating progress in meeting the outcome goals, and intermediate goals to describe the necessary steps that need to be performed to accomplish the goal. Setting goals is challenging because

  • It forces us to focus on a subgroup of issues where we think NIOSH can make an impact—a long list would spread our resources too thin to accomplish the goals. Not every worthwhile topic can be included.
  • It is difficult to develop performance measures. Available surveillance data have limitations, and exposure and health outcome measures are typically not available.
  • It is ambitious for NIOSH to set goals to achieve outcomes such as reductions in incidence of cancer. NIOSH is a research agency so we do not often directly influence outcomes—we must partner well and influence other groups to show results.

NIOSH Program Portfolio Approach

NIOSH has been organizing research, guidance, information, and service efforts into specific programs that can be readily communicated and strategically governed and evaluated. Ten Sector Programs represent industrial sectors, and twenty-four Cross-sector Programs are organized around adverse health outcomes, statutory programs and global efforts.

The Sector Programs intersect with Cross-Sector Programs in a matrix-like fashion. For example, an Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Program goal of reducing farm-related deaths and injuries due to tractor rollovers and trucks would likely be a shared goal with the Transportation Program and if appropriate would be adopted by both programs. This approach provides an added advantage and will allow multiple Programs to work towards accomplishment of intersecting goals.

Each of the 34 programs in the NIOSH Program Portfolio has a Manager and Coordinator. Each of the 10 NIOSH Sector Programs facilitates the work of a NORA Sector Council to engage external stakeholders in the process of developing sector goals for the nation and methods to measure the short-term, intermediate and long-term outcomes arising from those goals. The NORA goals for the nation will be considered when choosing NIOSH sector program goals. Cross Sector programs have internal Steering Committees that develop program goals and monitor outcome measures.

These planning efforts will position NIOSH to align with the most current governmental approaches for evaluating program effectiveness, i.e., the Program Assessment Rating Tool (or PART). PART is a mechanism to hold governmental agencies accountable for accomplishing results. As part of our comprehensive approach to performance measurement, NIOSH has engaged the National Academies to independently evaluate our sector and cross-programs for relevance and impact

CRC Program Goals for Intramural Research

NIOSH developed strategic goals for the Cancer, Reproductive and Cardiovascular Diseases (CRC) Program to guide NIOSH research. The current strategic goals guiding NIOSH researchers developing new projects related to the CRC cross-sector are below:

  • Strategic Goal 1: Reduce the incidence of work-related cancer.
  • Strategic Goal 3: Reduce the incidence of work-related adverse reproductive outcomes.
  • Strategic Goal 4: Reduce the incidence and mortality of work-related cardiovascular disease.
  • Strategic Goal 5: Reduce the incidence and mortality of other chronic diseases, including (but not limited to), work-related neurologic (cerebrovascular) and renal disease.

CRC Program Priority Goals for Extramural Research

The Cancer, Reproductive, and Cardiovascular Diseases Program selected the following priority goals as particularly suited for extramural research during fiscal years 2014-16:

  • Strategic Goal 1: Reduce the incidence of work-related cancer.
  • Strategic Goal 3: Reduce the incidence of work-related adverse reproductive outcomes.
  • Strategic Goal 4: Reduce the incidence and mortality of work-related cardiovascular disease.

Those seeking NIOSH grants to conduct studies related to the CRC Program can view the current funding opportunities.

NIOSH is interested in your opinions about the relevance and value of strategic goals for the CRC. We encourage you to consider partnering with us on issues of interest to you and your organization.


NORA Next Page: Emerging Issues

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  • Page last reviewed: September 25, 2013
  • Page last updated: September 25, 2013 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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