Inputs: NIOSH Strategic Goals
The NIOSH Services Sector Program is in the process of developing strategic goals to guide our research and partnership efforts over the next decade.
NIOSH previously used priority topic areas (e.g., traumatic injury, hearing loss) to guide research efforts. Goals take this approach a step further by identifying specific outcomes that NIOSH wants 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 for the following reasons:
- It forces us to focus on a subgroup of issues that we think NIOSH can have an impact on - 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 injury statistics 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 a national fatality rate. NIOSH is a research agency so we don't 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. Eight NORA Sector Programs represent industrial sectors, and twenty-four Cross-sector Programs organized around adverse health outcomes, statutory programs and global efforts.
The NORA 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 32 programs in the NIOSH Program Portfolio has a Manager and Coordinator. Each of the 8 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.
Draft Services Sector Program Goals
NIOSH is in the process of drafting strategic goals for the Services sector Program to guide NIOSH research. As required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), these strategic goals will be organized by outcomes such as injuries and illnesses instead of more general topic areas such as reducing all occupational mortality in the services industries. When competed, the strategic plan will include intermediate and annual goals along with performance measures to guide attainment of the strategic goals.
The current interim strategic goals guiding NIOSH researchers developing new projects related to the services sector are below:
- Strategic Goal 1: Reduce the incidence and severity of injuries and illnesses due to workplace violence among services sector workers.
- Strategic Goal 2: Reduce the incidence and severity of work-related MSDs in services sector workers.
- Strategic Goal 3: Reduce the incidence and severity of occupational disease and disability for higher risk populations of services workers and for those employed in emerging technologies.
- Strategic Goal 4: Reduce the incidence and severity of work-related stress disorders in services sector workers.
- Strategic Goal 5: Reduce the occupational health disparities between priority population workers in the services sector and the general population of workers.
- Strategic Goal 6: Reduce the incidence and severity of traumatic injuries among services sector workers.
- Strategic Goal 7: Reduce the incidence and severity of traumatic injuries among public safety workers.
- Strategic Goal 8: Reduce the incidence and severity of violence related injuries among public safety workers.
- Strategic Goal 9: Reduce the incidence and severity of disease among public safety workers that may result from occupational hazards.
When draft goals for the NIOSH Services sector Program are completed, they will be posted here for review and comment. We will also use the NIOSH eNews to announce that draft goals are available for review.
Those seeking NIOSH grants to conduct studies benefiting workers in the services sector can view the priority topic areas for extramural investigators. They are closely related to the strategic goals listed above.
The NIOSH strategic goals and the priority topic areas for extramural investigators will be updated based on additional input received from the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). NORA is establishing and implementing a sector strategic plan for the nation.
NIOSH is interested in your opinions about the relevance and value of these strategic goals for the services sector. We encourage you to consider partnering with us on issues of interest to you and your organization.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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