Operations research (OR) is critical in providing scientific evidence for health and disease control programs to improve their quality and “learning” as they scale up.
The Framework for Operations and Implementation Research in Health and Disease Control Programs is a result of a collaborative effort between the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and an inter-agency technical working group. The culmination of this collaboration was a three-day meeting held in Geneva in April 2008 and attended by over fifty participants representing the Global Fund, TDR, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, field-based programs, policy-makers and research communities from all over the world, which finalized and endorsed the framework.
The overall goal of the document is two-fold: to standardize the practice of OR across the international health community and to stimulate the integration of OR into health programs. In general, OR needs to be integrated as an essential part of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) efforts. Thus, the concept of M’OR’E could become a new paradigm enhancing the practice of integrating monitoring, research and evaluation dimensions as one common component into program management systems. It would not only strengthen program implementation, but would also facilitate more effective utilization of M&E resources (currently recommended at five to ten percent of overall Global Fund grant budgets).
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