SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE AND OUTREACH
Inputs: NIOSH Strategic Goals
The NIOSH Small Business Assistance and Outreach Cross-sector has developed preliminary strategic goals that are noted below. NIOSH welcomes both internal and external input into the goal development process.
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 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 injury statistics have limitations, and exposure and health outcome measures are typically not available. This is especially true for small businesses.
- It is ambitious for NIOSH to set goals to achieve outcomes such as reductions in a national fatality rate. As a research agency, NIOSH does not often directly influence outcomes. We must partner well and influence other groups to show results. This is critical in our efforts to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses within the small business community.
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 Small Business Assistance and Outreach Cross-Sector Goals
Strategic Goal 1
Over the next 10 years, contribute to a reduction in fatalities and injuries in one or more targeted sectors within which a significant portion of firms engaged in that sector are small businesses. Prioritize efforts to first address those small business industries in sectors suffering the greatest number of occupational injuries and illnesses.
Overall Performance Measure: Declining injury/fatality rates within small businesses in targeted sector(s).
Intermediate Goal 1.1: Conduct a review of available literature and surveillance data to update and reassess the degree to which small businesses comprise business entities in each of the eight sectors. Identify trends in occupational injury, illness, and fatality associated with small businesses.
- Performance Measure: Publish a revised small business report describing these findings, prioritizing research needs, and recommending studies to address research gaps.
Intermediate Goal 1.2: Conduct an analysis of existing NIOSH guidance documents, materials, media, and other publications in order to prioritize efforts to modify them or translate findings into products more useful to small business owners.
- Performance Measure: A prioritized list of documents/products needing “translation” will be published so that NIOSH staff and external partners can choose appropriate products for development into small business outreach materials. The prioritization will reflect those small businesses/industries with the greatest number of injuries and illnesses. In the first funding cycle after publication of these recommendations, translation efforts will begin. All NIOSH products specifically produced as tailored outputs for small businesses will be tracked.
Strategic Goal 2
Interact with each of the eight NIOSH sector research councils to identify and address high-risk issues affecting small businesses within each sector and coordinate with appropriate external stakeholders to address those issues in a manner appropriate to small business needs.
Intermediate Goal 2.1: Establish a small business liaison in each sector council.
Intermediate Goal 2.2: Establish partnerships with businesses, manufacturers, suppliers, trade groups, and other appropriate entities to plan and implement intervention programs targeting small businesses.
Program-Related References and Websites
NIOSH is interested in your opinions about the relevance and value of strategic goals for the Small Business Assistance and Outreach program. We encourage you to consider partnering with us on issues of interest to you and your organization. We welcome your input regarding the needs and priorities of small business entities with regard to improvements in occupational safety and health.
Comments and suggestions may be sent by mail or email to:
Ray Sinclair, Coordinator
Small Business Assistance and Outreach Program
NIOSH - Taft Laboratory
4676 Columbia Parkway, C-2
Cincinnati, Ohio 45226
The development of goals for the NIOSH Small Business Assistance and Outreach Cross-sector area will be closely linked to the work of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Sector Councils.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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