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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop APPENDIX A Workshop on Linking Knowledge with action for Sustainable Development Hosted by the U.S. National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability Participant Case Summaries7 To begin understanding the diversity of cases that we would explore during the workshop, we requested that participants briefly answer the following questions about their cases. These case summaries were distributed to all participants prior to the workshop. Previous workshops held by the task force suggested that successful programs linking knowledge with action are agents of change and innovation. However, established interests and organizations generally seek to oppose or co-opt such programs. In fact, it is a wonder that any succeed at all. We list below some characteristics of successful programs that have emerged from our previous workshops, together with questions about these characteristics that we asked participants in this workshop to reflect upon in the context of their own program experience. Included below is the set of questions posed to workshop participants and the answers that we received. 0. Short descriptive title of program Question: What is a short, descriptive title for the program you are presenting? 1. Problem definition Tentative finding: Successful programs linking knowledge with action require dialogue and cooperation between the scientists who produce knowledge and the decision makers who use it. Especially important is that the problem to be solved be defined in a collaborative but ultimately user-driven manner. Question: What is the problem to be solved by your program? How—if at all—did the program provide for a user-driven dialogue between scientists and decision makers to shape problem 7 The case summaries submitted for the workshop are included as an appendix because they: provide valuable information about the programs represented at the workshop and how they contribute to sustainability; offer specific examples of and lessons from program managers’ efforts to link knowledge with action; and include resources for additional information, such as program URLs and program managers’ contact information. The case summaries may provide the reader with a more thorough and nuanced understanding of some of the key points made at the workshop. Note: Participants’ case summary responses are included in the appendix as submitted to the National Academies, without substantive editing. They represent the perspectives of the individual authors, and not necessarily those of the National Academies or the organizations that employ them.
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop definition? How—if at all—did the ultimate problem definition differ from initial formulation by scientists and decision makers, respectively? 2. Program management Tentative finding: Successful efforts to develop programs linking knowledge with action generally adopt a project orientation and organization, with dynamic leaders accountable for achieving use-driven goals and targets. They avoid the pitfall of letting study of the problem displace creation of solutions as the program goal. Question: Was your program developed in such a project mode? Did it have specific, measurable goals and targets? If so, what? To what extent and in what ways was goal and target definition driven by scientists or decision makers, or both? To what extent and in what ways were program leaders held accountable for achieving those goals and targets? 3. Program organization Tentative finding: Successful programs linking knowledge with action include boundary organizations committed to building bridges between the research community on the one hand, and the user community on the other. These boundary organizations often construct informal and sometimes even partially hidden spaces in which project managers can foster user-producer dialogues, joint product definition, and end-to-end system building free from distorting dominance by groups committed to the status quo. In order to maintain balance, most effective boundary organizations make themselves jointly accountable to both the science and user communities. Question: Did your program involve a boundary spanning function or organization? If not, how did you organize the dialogue between producers and users? If so, where and how was the boundary organization or function created? What did it do? To what extent was it accountable to both users and producers for achieving its goals? 4. The decision-support system Tentative finding: Successful programs linking knowledge with action create end-to-end, integrated systems that connect basic scientific predictions or observations to decision-relevant impacts and options. They avoid the pitfall of assuming that a single piece of the chain (e.g., a climate prediction) can be useful on its own, or will be taken care of by someone else. Question: To what extent is the decision-support system developed by your program an end-to-end system? What are its discrete elements (e.g., a climate forecast, an impact model converting climate forecasts into yield forecasts required by decision makers)? Which were the hardest elements to put in place? Why? What changes in research, decision making, or both have occurred as a result of the system?
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop 5. Learning orientation Tentative finding: Successful programs linking knowledge with action are designed as systems for learning rather than systems for knowing. Recognizing the difficulty of the task, such programs are frankly experimental, and expect and embrace failure in order to learn from it as quickly as possible. Success requires appropriate reward and incentive systems for risk-taking managers, funding mechanisms that enable such risk taking, and periodic external evaluation. Question: Did your program have an expressly experimental orientation? How did it identify which risks to take? How did it identify success and failure? How did it engage outside evaluators to help it reflect on its own experience? What are the most important lessons you have learned regarding pitfalls to be avoided, or approaches to be followed in the future? 6. Continuity and flexibility Tentative finding: Successful programs linking knowledge with action must develop strategies to maintain program continuity and flexibility in the face of budgetary and human resource challenges, such as the dual public-private character of knowledge-action systems; budgetary pressure to highlight short-term, measurable results; uncertainty regarding future budgetary priorities in a dynamic political environment; and shortages of people who can work effectively across disciplines, issue areas, and the knowledge-action interface. Question: How do budgetary requirements and/or human resource pressures influence your program? What, if any, collaborative funding mechanisms have you developed to ensure continuity and relevance to user needs? If applicable, how do you maintain public funding, or incorporate private funding, for the provision of a partially private good? What, if any, innovative approaches have you developed for enhancing human capacity in your program area (e.g., building curricula or providing incentives to reward interdisciplinary activities)? 7. Other insights? Question: What other insights or conclusions emerge from your experience about the factors responsible for success and failure in activities designed to link knowledge with action? 8. Other issues? Question: Are there any other issues that you would like to discuss during the workshop? 9. Contact information Question: Could you please list for the case presented the key contact person (presumably but not necessarily yourself), with title and contact information?
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop 10. Representative publications/products Question: Could you please list a couple of key publications or products that would help us to understand the program you have described, including websites? (If possible, please append electronic copies or links). Participants’ Answers THEME I: AIR QUALITY AND CLIMATE International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) Jim Buizer Arizona State University 1. Problem Definition To provide usable seasonal-to-interannual climate forecast information to resource managers and policy-makers worldwide, particularly to those living in regions impacted by the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Throughout the entire design and implementation process, input from stakeholders was sought via user-producer workshops. Whereas initially the product was primarily the construct of the physical scientists at the IRI, it has evolved substantially from its original formulation, heavily influenced by ongoing stakeholder input. 2. Program Management The IRI was designed with the explicit goal of providing usable climate information to those making resource decisions. One of the biggest challenges was, and continues to be how to measure success. For example, is the program successful when “skillful” forecasts are produced? When produced and communicated? When produced, communicated and considered for use? When produced, communicated and actually used, with demonstration of benefit from use? Given that the IRI originated from the earth science research community, and that the IRI personnel are primarily from that community, there has been a tendency to define success closer to that which the physical sciences can measure. Also, there are many (social and economic) reasons why an individual user might not “take advantage” of new scientifically-based information, even if its use would result in greater benefit in the long run. This too contributes to program leaders’ tendency to define success using metrics of those factors more in their control (such as the quantitative measure of “skill” of a forecast.) 3. Program organization Whereas a great deal of the resources have been dedicated to improvement of the climate models, and development of more “user-friendly” climate information products, a significant “boundary spanning” function is central to the IRI’s mission. The IRI spans: a) across disciplines (by employing physical, natural and social sciences at it’s facility in New York), b) between producers and users (by convening and participating in “user workshops” and climate outlook
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop forums), and c) between the more developed to less developed nations (by focusing primarily on: providing climate information for the ENSO-impacted regions in the tropical, less-developed nations, providing training for individuals from those regions, and conducting research in those regions.) 4. The decision-support system The end-to-end characteristic of the IRI is perhaps one of its greatest assets and most complete characteristics. It was explicitly stated in 1992 when the original concept was formally articulated that the IRI would be an end-to-end system…from global ENSO forecasts, using state-of-the-art climate models, through higher resolution regional forecasts co-produced with local forecasting entities, to fairly localized, practical forecast products that incorporate input from potential users of the information. The most difficult to implement has been that closest to the final user for a number of reasons. First, the stated needs of the users easily go beyond the capacity of the science to deliver; second, the need for resources (financial, technical, and personnel)to dedicate to the problem increase dramatically as one moves closer to the application, and third, as one gets closer to the use end, potential sources of funds tend to dry up. A couple of reasons for this might be, that scientific agencies who might otherwise fund inquiry into the problem at the global scale are generally not prepared to dedicate resources at the local scale. Further, as one gets closer to production of information that might be useful for individual resource managers, competition between them leads to a disincentive to finance activities to produce a “common good.” 5. Learning orientation The IRI was expressly experimental from the outset, as evidenced by the inclusion of the word “Research” in the title. This allowed the IRI to produce “experimental forecasts”, and hence, a chance to co-exist with the National Meteorological Services who claimed the “climate forecasting” domain as their turf. However, a forecast product heavily couched in “experimental” and “probabilistic” terms is less likely to be readily assimilated into decision-making processes, especially by those who do not understand the nature of the climate system and the inherent uncertainties within (i.e., literally “betting the farm.”) With the constantly updated climate forecast on the web, “outside evaluators” of the IRI are everywhere, from the scientific community to the user community. Other reviewers are built into the management structure, with a IRI Board of Overseers evaluating overall policies and budget, and an International Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee established to advise on the programs. Further, the program is reviewed every 5 years by NOAA as it considers renewal of the grant to Columbia University. 6. Continuity and flexibility The IRI was purposefully established by NOAA as a 5-year grant to Columbia University so that the institution would have some budgetary stability. Outside funds have been sought, and Taiwan has contributed financial support. Also, IRI is the recipient of funds from the USAID and the Inter-American Development Bank for specific projects. Nevertheless, the majority of the funds come from the NOAA Office of Global Programs which suffers from constant budgetary attacks from individuals who would rather see the funds go into the NOAA Labs.
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop Training of individuals both from the U.S. and abroad is a big part of the IRI mission. Further, Columbia University has recently created a “Climate Affairs” Masters Degree program which the IRI administers. 7. Other insights Any attempt to create an institution that radically changes the way things are traditionally done will be met with unbelievable opposition by those who would rather preserve the status quo. Without the strong leadership of one individual, then Director of NOAA’s Office of Global Programs, J. Michael Hall, the IRI would not have been established. Contact information James L. Buizer Executive Director of Sustainability Initiatives and Special Advisor to the President Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85287 Tel: (480) 965-6515 Fax: (480) 965-0865 Email: email@example.com On IPA from NOAA: (was) Director, Climate and Societal Interactions Division NOAA Office of Global Programs 1100 Wayne Avenue Rm 1225 Silver Spring, MD 20877 Publications Cash, D.W. and S.C. Moser (2000): Linking global and local scales: designing dynamic assessment and management processes. Global Env. Change, 10:2 pp. 109-120. International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI), 2001: Coping with the Climate: A Way Forward: Summary and Proposals for Action, A multi-stakeholder review of Regional Climate Outlook Forums concluded at an international workshop October 16-20, 2000, Pretoria, S. Africa, 28 pp. Moura, A.D., ed., et al. 1992: International Research Institute for Climate Prediction: A Proposal, IRICP Task Group, NOAA, 51 pp. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 1994: A Proposal to Launch a Seasonal-to-Interannual Climate Prediction Program, Office of Global Programs, Silver Spring, MD, 19 pp. ________1996: International Forum on Forecasting El Niño: Launching an International Research Institute, Forum Proceedings, Office of Global Programs (6-8 November, Washington, D.C.), 277 pp.
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop The NOAA Research Applications Program: Bringing climate research to bear on practical challenges associated with natural resource management and hazard mitigation through applications development and capacity building. Lisa Vaughan NOAA 1. Problem definition Climate variability and the associated fluctuations in rainfall and temperature patterns can have a significant impact on developing countries, affecting critical sectors such as agriculture and food security; water resource availability and management; disaster preparedness and civil defense; and public health and well-being. For example, the 1982-1983 and 1997-1998 El Niño events were associated with severe droughts and floods which occurred throughout much of the world. The footprint of these extreme climatic fluctuations on developing countries is shaped not only by the severity of the physical impact of an event, but by the existing infrastructure, capacity and coping strategies. Climate science and services have the potential to help improve the resilience of socioeconomic systems in the face of a variable climate by providing understanding and information products (e.g., climate forecasts) to decision makers in climate sensitive sectors and regions. However, a multi-disciplinary research, assessment and applications effort is fundamental to creating an effective bridge between societal need and capacity, and scientific insights and products. NOAA’s Research Applications Program focuses on the applications component of this end-to-end system by fostering the understanding and the technical, scientific and institutional capacity necessary to forecast and adapt to climate variability. The effort takes a place-based approach to resolving interrelated problems associated with research, institutional development and capacity building with support provided through a variety of funding mechanisms and partnerships with international, regional, national and local organizations. The regional thrusts of the program are the following: Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia. The role of stakeholders in the climate applications initiative evolved over time, through an adaptive learning and management process. Recognizing the potential applications of climate research during the late 1980s, NOAA initiated a series of workshops on behalf of the research community. Participation in this applications dialogue was initially focused on the physical scientists involved in understanding the dynamics of the climate system, and the creation of observations systems and models to support this work. During the early 1990s, NOAA began to realize that the internal focus of these discussions was not likely to lead to the realization of any socioeconomic applications and value, so the program management staff began to purposefully incorporate an increasingly wider range of participants in this dialogue. The expansion began with social scientists, to help articulate the impact of climate on society and to begin to understand the potential applications of climate information in decision making (including opportunities and barriers related to its use). While the inclusion of another type of academic was useful, we soon realized that actual decision makers needed to be at the table to help frame their challenges and information needs, and to participate in a “negotiation” with the scientific community about what was desirable and feasible. Finally, a fourth group was sought out for participation in the dialogue: the intermediary technical experts and facilitators (e.g., agricultural extension services).
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop The outcome of this multilateral problem definition and more participatory approach is a much richer perspective on climate research applications, and a research agenda that is more attuned to societal need. For example, we now have a better understanding of the importance of socioeconomic context, and the role of the associated vulnerability and resilience of a sector or region in the effective use of scientific information products (e.g., scientific information is of no value if the capacity to utilize it does not exist or is unrecognized). In addition, starting with an impacts approach (or problem definition) has led to the specific study of other climatic phenomenon that influence rainfall patterns in specific regions (e.g., the Atlantic and South America). 2. Program management The NOAA Research Applications Program was initially developed as a pilot effort, with objectives related to: raising awareness of climate impacts and research applications; increasing capacity related to the successful use of climate information; and identifying research needs, including process studies, modeling and observations networks. The initial pilot effort was focused on one type of climate variability (El Niño-Southern Oscillation), and one scientific product (seasonal to interannual forecasts). The overall vision driving the pilot effort was the creation of a network of applications activities (then referred to as “centers”) throughout the developing world, and the connection of these applications capacities to a central forecasting and research entity (the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction/IRI). Thus, the creation of this network (including the IRI) and the associated capacities established a framework for the evaluation of the activities of the NOAA effort. Beyond this larger objective, however, the program did not have articulated metrics for measuring success (e.g., capacity enhanced by X amount in Y country). There were, however, indirect measures of success, including the use of climate information in decision making by groups like the US Agency for International Development and the World Bank, and the existence of new institutional arrangements and coping strategies to deal specifically with climate information. The managers of the NOAA effort, which included physical scientists, social scientists and political scientists, worked with the broader community to create and sustain goals and objectives. Program leaders were accountable to the director of the office, but also to a broader community who helped fund some of the applications work, including the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. 3. Program organization The NOAA Research Applications Program served as a boundary or bridging organization, as it helped create and enhance boundary functions and relationships in the field. The program management staff was composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds, ranging from the physical and social sciences to tropical agriculture and development. As such, the group working on this project could facilitate and create linkages in the space between science and society by understanding context and language on both sides of the bridge. In the regions where the bulk of the work was conducted, NOAA sought to create structured and informal dialogues between scientists and decision makers. Examples of the formal (and sometimes virtual) boundary entities include a) the Climate Outlook Forums (COF), which bring together research scientists, operational experts from the weather services, decision makers, and technical intermediaries on a
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop regular basis to generate and analyze pending climatic conditions; and b) standing regional committees dedicated to integrating climate information and key socioeconomic factors into decision making processes. Often catalyzed by a specific need (e.g., pending ENSO event, post-Hurricane Mitch reconstruction), the NOAA effort sought to develop relationships and boundary functions that would continue to grow and be nurtured during times of non-crisis. Our experience has demonstrated that the highest chances for successful applications of scientific information exist in a system with ongoing and regular communication between scientists and decision makers, where each set of actors have an understanding of and trust in the others. 4. The decision-support system NOAA’s Research Applications Program seeks to catalyze and support end-to-end decision support systems. The framework utilized for these systems (in general terms) includes the following elements which do not occur in a linear, independent manner: 1) creation of a climate outlook through a participatory process; 2) dissemination of climate outlook information; 3) application of climate information; 4) evaluation of information and application; 5) applications research and development; 6) training and education; 7) sustained stakeholder dialogue. The reality is that we encourage the development of these various components, but do not have the financial or human resources available to invest adequately in every area for every region. We try to compensate for this resource issue by developing partnerships with other funding agencies (e.g., USAID, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, World Meteorological Organization, National Science Foundation) with a stake in the existence of such an end-to-end system. Some regions have been more successful than others in creating and sustaining an end-to-end system, due to resource constraints and cultural emphasis. 5. Learning orientation In the early 1990s, the NOAA Research Applications Program sought to productively connect an emerging scientific capacity in the form of seasonal to interannual climate forecasting—still in the development and experimental stages itself—with a broad, and as of yet unarticulated, societal need. Beyond literature related to technology diffusion and experience in weather forecasting, there was no roadmap to guide the agency in this effort. By necessity, then, the research applications pilot program was considered an experiment. Nature provided the community working in this field with a “field experiment” in the form of the 1997-1998 ENSO event. This event tested and shaped new, emerging institutions (e.g., IRI) and gave rise to new virtual institutions that continue today (e.g., COFs). The research applications program is housed in an environment that has historically encouraged calculated and strategic risk taking among its program management staff. A careful risk analysis was conducted, often in a small group setting, which weighed the potential benefits to be realized against any negative consequences. Failure is indicated by harm done to people, economies or the program effort; however, the environment encouraged program leaders to embrace and learn from their mistakes. The program formally seeks advice from outside evaluators in the form of peer-review of proposals, and has consulted with the external NOAA Climate and Global Change Panel as appropriate. In addition, there is a community of individuals supported by NOAA’s Human Dimensions of Global Change Research Program (HDGCR) which studies the use of climate information. Projects supported by the Research Applications Program have been part of the context within which these projects take place (e.g., an HDGCR study which analyzes
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop climate information usage in Africa might consider the effectiveness of a specific COF and associated training activity supported by the Research Applications Program). This relationship between two of NOAA’s programs strengthens our ability to fully realize a socially-relevant return on the agency’s investment in climate science. Finally, the NOAA Research Applications effort is now conducted within the same programmatic framework as a project on Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Development (KSSD). The KSSD project seeks to identify and articulate the characteristics of effective decision support systems. The research applications program serves as a source of real time experiments in decision support for rigorous study by the KSSD group (which is also looking at other sectors and topics), and will also be a beneficiary of the findings of the KSSD project. Linking the study of decision support to actual applications efforts serves to improve the role of science and technology in societal decision making processes, even as real impacts are realized from current applications. 6. Continuity and flexibility NOAA funding dedicated to the Research Applications Program has traditionally been relatively small in relation to its other research and assessment programs, and has essentially remained level for almost a decade. There are multiple factors that influence this situation, for example, including the perception in the physical science community and some of its managers that money invested in research applications represents less support available for advancing forecasting skill levels. On a more positive note, one rationale for this level of funding was that organizations with a stake in climate and the use of climate information would be willing to support applications activities that benefited their respective agendas. In large part, this principle has proven true. The Research Applications Program has leveraged funding from other USG agencies (e.g., USAID, NSF), international organizations (e.g., World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Meteorological Organization), regional science institutions (e.g., Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research), and a large number of national and state organizations around the world. Co-sponsorship of activities with scientific and decision making organizations help maintain a consistent and problem-oriented effort. In several cases, NOAA-initiated activities, including the COFs, are wholly supported by other organizations. We consider this a success. 7. Other insights? A quick summary of some insights: Full involvement of stakeholders (scientists, operational entities, decision makers, and intermediaries) results in a sense of ownership of the endeavor, and a more socially-relevant effort. This dialogue can be enhanced by the facilitation by an individual or organization that is perceived as legitimate and “neutral” by the respective parties (e.g., no political or financial stake in the outcome of the dialogue).
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop Climate is an issue that benefits from international (and regional) collaboration, in spite of the challenges associated with working across cultural, language, political and disciplinary boundaries. Understanding and enhancing regional, national and local capacity is essential to efforts to apply science and technology for sustainable development (i.e., the scientific product alone does not affect behavior). A separate but well entrenched focus on applications can provide the incremental resources necessary to “connect the dots” between science and decision making in specific contexts. The resources for such an effort should be “fenced off” from other research and assessment activities (for several reasons, including the nature of the scientific review process…workshops, capacity building and targeted applications activities do not review against longer term scientific studies), but tightly linked to these other efforts in terms. Full investment in research applications requires the development of a group of individuals that can serve the boundary function of bringing people and ideas together to create something that is larger than the sum of its parts. Contact information Lisa Farrow Vaughan Program Director for Environment, Science and Development NOAA Office of Global Programs 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1225 Silver Spring, MD 20910 Tel: 301-427-2089 ext. 132 Fax: 301-427-2082 Email: Lisa.Vaughan@noaa.gov Representative publications/products An Experiment in the Application of Climate Forecasts: NOAA/OGP activities during the 1997-1998 ENSO event. Available at: [http://www.ogp.noaa.gov/library/index.htm] NOAA Environment, Science and Development (ESD) Program (including Research Applications). Available at: [http://www.ogp.noaa.gov/mpe/csi/esd/index.htm] Coping with Climate: A Way Forward. An analysis and recommendations for action for the Regional Climate Outlook Forum process conducted by an international workshop of experts in October 2000 (Pretoria; South Africa). Available at: [http://www.ogp.noaa.gov/mpe/csi/doc/] EPA Global Change Research Program’s Great Lakes Regional Assessment (GLRA) Activity Joel Scheraga EPA
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop improvements derived from the new products must be benchmarked to document the impact of the project. 6. Continuity and flexibility Budgetary restraints and potential changes are assumed risks in any project. These risks are minimized in this program through the commitment to joint funding of the projects, setting of objectives and milestones, and adherence to the programmatic objectives of the partner organizations as described in the IBPD of both agencies. 7. Other insights Concurrent with the individual FAS projects, NASA and USDA have formalized an Interagency Working Group (IWG) to identify more systematically USDA operational mandates that may be served through the integration of NASA Earth science observations, measurements and predictive models. The IWG provides guidance for enhanced collaboration between USDA and NASA, and the work with FAS has been a high priority identified in the Agricultural Efficiency component of the IWG. The IWG is an example of a mechanism that assures user involvement and commitment to a project from inception through acceptance of operational responsibility. Contact information Mr. Brad Doorn USDA/FAS firstname.lastname@example.org 202-690-0131 Mr. Ed Sheffner NASA/Office of Earth Science email@example.com 202-358-0239 Representative publications/products Information on PECAD with links to collaborative work with NASA: [http://www.fas.usda.gov/pecad/] “Crop Explorer” – PECAD on-line information on crop condition: [http://18.104.22.168/rssiws/] Global Reservoir and Lake Monitor tool – under development as a NASA/USDA partnership project: [http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/cropexplorer/global_reservoir/] PECAD’s MODIS Rapid Response Imagery tool – under development as a NASA/USDA partnership: [http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/cropexplorer/modis_summary/] Summary of NASA Earth science applications and related information: [http://earth.nasa.gov/eseapps] On-line press release on use of NASA Earth observations by FAS (January 2004): [http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NasaNews/2004/2004012016417.html] Decision Support Tools Evaluation Report for FAS/PECAD, Version 2.0, NASA/ Stennis Space Center, January 2004. Hutchinson, Chuck, S. Drake, W. vanLeeuwen, V. Kaupp. T. Haithcoat. “Characterization of PECAD’s DSS: a zeroth-order assessment and benchmarking preparation” Version 1.3, August 2003.
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop NASA’s Earth Science for Society Brochure, which discusses 12 NASA applications areas: Please go to the drop box at [http://ese-dropbox.hq.nasa.gov/ese-dropbox/] and click on “Science for Society brochure” The State of the Nation’s Ecosystems: periodic, high quality, non-partisan reporting on key aspects of the condition of the nation’s ecosystems Robin O’Malley The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment 1. Problem definition Prior to the initiation of the State of the Nation’s Ecosystems project, the United States did not have an agreed-upon suite of indicators describing the key characteristics of the nation’s ecosystems, and no mechanism for identifying and reporting such indicators. (This is in contrast to the relatively stable and generally accepted set of indicators describing economic activity at the macro level, and the several institutions and processes that report and periodically refine these indicators.) The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, which produces The State of the Nation’s Ecosystems (The Heinz Center, 2002; see item 10 for link), utilized a process involving participants from business, environmental advocacy organizations, academic institutions, and federal, state, and local governments. Each working group for the project included representation from these major societal sectors. In practice, the project was managed through a series of committees. One of these (the Design Committee) had individuals who were relatively senior in their organizations (e.g., titles such as Vice President for XX, Director of XX, etc.) and who provided a policy level (decision maker) perspective. This group was complemented by several working groups, with individuals generally at a more technical level. Chairs of each working group were also members of the Design Committee, ensuring a strong link and open dialogue between the two potentially divergent spheres of thinking. (In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that Dr. William Clark, Harvard University, and co-convener of the workshop for which this material is being prepared, is the Chair of the Design Committee). The involvement of both highly technical individuals and those with policy experience and expertise was crucial. Reporting on the state of the nation’s ecosystems requires communicating complex information in a manner that is accessible to non-specialists while maintaining the scientific integrity of the information. Issues such as the number of indicators and the tone, technical content, and amount of supporting information provided in the report, and the degree to which the report was dominated by indicators that are already well known by the public or included those that are seen as important by the ecological community, but are not well known by non-specialists, are examples of areas in which the report was shaped by the different viewpoints of these two communities. 2. Program management The program WAS developed in a “project” mode, with specific dates by which the report’s prototype and first edition were to be completed. These deadlines were driven primarily from the
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop decision maker end of the spectrum and were influenced by the need to demonstrate the potential for such a report, and to justify a significant expenditure in a reasonable time period. The target for issuing the prototype report was met, while the first full edition was about nine months late in completion. Internal organization pressure, the fact that deadlines were relatively widely known and thus a delivery-date expectation had been created, and the real fact of having utilized a significant fraction of available funds provided pressure that the program managers could not ignore. 3. Program organization The project did involve a boundary-spanning function. The boundary between technical and decision maker / user communities was touched upon in an earlier response (#1). I would also stress very strongly an additional boundary that is NOT captured by the traditional “research-versus-user” paradigm. As noted previously, the State of the Nation’s Ecosystems project, and indeed all Heinz Center projects, included boundary spanning between business, environmental advocacy organizations, academic institutions, and government. Each of these major sectors may have both “researchers” and “decision makers” – but the researchers in each of these four sectors will often have very different perspectives, values, assumptions, and strategic ways of approaching an issue. Thus, it is inappropriate to lump all “researchers” together, much as it would be inappropriate to lump a decision maker from a resource extractive industry with a government regulator in an environmentally-leaning state or federal agency as “decision makers.” Inclusion of multiple research perspectives, and multiple decision maker perspectives, is a crucial design element that will strengthen many programs. 4. The decision-support system Successful reporting on the state of the nation’s ecosystems requires an end-to-end system that involves: Collection of individual bits of raw data about the Earth or a component of an ecosystem Aggregation of that data at larger geographic scales Appropriate statistical manipulation Reporting of statistical data at a regional and national level Identification of key indicators of the condition of ecosystems Gathering statistical data from multiple sources on multiple indicators Reporting of these indicators in a form accessible to the target audience (i.e., decision makers and opinion leaders). While many of these elements are in place, there are huge substantive gaps (i.e., areas in which data are not collected or (#1) data collected by multiple entities is not aggregated (#2). In addition, prior to the initiation of The Heinz Center’s effort, there was no entity charged with identification of indicators, gathering data, and reporting (#5,6,7). In the initial phases of our work, there was an assumption that an ecosystem reporting effort could focus on items 5, 6 and 7. We have grown to understand that—because there is no single entity that focuses on the overall task of monitoring the nation’s ecosystems (i.e., items 1-4)—a successful indicator reporting effort will require attention to both filling the gaps in the
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop underlying data collection enterprise and assuring the continuity and maintenance of existing data collection efforts. Thus, the program has added elements that will focus on the resources necessary to both ensure continued flows of basic statistical data and filling of gaps, and has begun a policy-level conversation that will address institutionalization of the indicator selection and reporting effort (#5-7). 5. Learning orientation The State of the Nation’s Ecosystems project is designed as an iterative, adaptive effort. The overall perspective is that getting a set of indicators “right” will take some time, and that the goal should be to reduce the level of change in the indicator set over time, until eventually a relatively conservative set is established, and changes are at the margin. (This is the case with economic indicators—they are revised periodically, but the system as a whole consists of a relatively stable set.) Evaluation and reflection have involved large numbers of presentations to many different groups, reviews of the report by outside experts, and synthesis of these feedback inputs by staff. That said, this process is relatively informal and probably could be developed into a more structured one. The most successful element of the entire venture, which has been highlighted by respondents from across the political spectrum and by people from both the research and decision maker/user communities, was the report’s steadfast refusal to adopt normative positions to describe environmental conditions. Multiple value-laden choices underlie the selection of indicators—which, after all, represent what is “important” to society. However, once that value-driven process was complete, information about the indicators and their values and trends was presented in a strongly neutral fashion. Trends or conditions were not described as “good” or “bad”—because any single trend may be viewed quite differently by different stakeholders. We will clearly continue this successful element of the experiment. 6. Continuity and flexibility The State of the Nation’s Ecosystems project has been supported with both public and private funds. Across both Democratic and Republican administrations, the fact that the project was supported, in more than a rhetorical sense, by both foundations and corporations was viewed quite positively. Maintaining this diversity of funding is in large part due to two factors. The first is the neutral position taken by the report (see previous response). Essentially, all funders see the report as providing information they believe is important, but doing so in a way that is not overly influenced by political agendas they disagree with. The second factor is the report’s strong linkages within, particularly, federal agencies. We have involved both political appointees AND large numbers of career staff in the process. When the project moved through an administration transition, these career staff were crucial in highlighting the project to incoming appointees, assuring continuity of funding, and maintaining momentum on the project itself. Contact information
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop Robin O’Malley Senior Fellow and Program Director The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 735 South Washington, DC 20004 202-737-6307 (ph) 202-737-6410 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org Representative publications/products http://www.heinzctr.org/ecosystems/index.htm THEME IV: PUBLIC HEALTH AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) Kenneth Bridbord Fogarty International Center The mission of the Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is to promote and support scientific research and training internationally to reduce disparities in global health. The longest standing FIC program designed to achieve this goal is the AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP). AITRP was initiated in 1988 to respond to what was believed even at that time to represent a global health emergency, which necessitated an unprecedented level of international scientific cooperation. AITRP operates through grants to U.S. universities, which establish long term collaborations with scientific and public health institutions in one or more developing countries. AITRP provides long and short-term training opportunities in the U. S. and short-term in-country training opportunities for developing country scientists. Since its inception nearly 2,000 foreign scientists have received training in the U.S. AITRP’s are strongly linked to NIH-supported research in the home country of trainees, which has been vital to its success, allowing trainees to find career opportunities and to use their newly acquired skills to help their country combat HIV/AIDS. Another key feature of AITRP has been its flexibility as well as the provision of advanced in country research support for trainees upon completion of their formal training. Today AITRP involves two dozen awards to U.S. universities, which are active in more than 60 developing countries. Many of the leading developing country health scientists involved in NIH international AIDS Research Programs, in awards form the Global Fund to Combat AIDS, TB and Malaria, as well as awards from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation have received training through AITRP. Most of NIH-supported HIV/AIDS research in developing countries, e.g., the Vaccine Trials Network, the
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop Prevention Trials Network, the Popular Opinion Leader Studies and the CIPRA program, relies on foreign collaborators trained through AITRP. One measure of the impact of AITRP is that 25% of all of the presentations at the last two international AIDS conferences in Durban and Barcelona were authored or co-authored by current or former AITRP trainees. Contact Information Kenneth Bridbord, M.D., MPH Director, Division of International Training and Research Fogarty International Center National Institutes of Health 31 Center Drive Room B2C39, Building 31 Bethesda, MD 20892-2220 Phone: (301) 496-2516 Fax: (301) 402-0779 e-mail: Ken_Bridbord@nih.gov Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) TB Genotyping Network (The first phase involved a five year pilot study, the second universal implementation) Chris Braden 1. Problem definition Traditional methods in surveillance and outbreak investigation have been insensitive in detecting, monitoring and studying the emergence of pathogens or pathogen strains and new modes of transmission. In the U.S., a major TB epidemic emerged in the late 1980s, with a 20% increase in the number of cases nationally by 1992. The TB rates in New York City advanced beyond those seen in the most severely affected developing countries—an epidemic fueled by lethal strains of multidrug-resistant TB. Traditional investigations were unable to identify the sources and circumstances of infections for a large proportion of TB cases. Unidentified sources of infection meant TB continued to be spread in the communities. Laboratory scientists, epidemiologists, and decision makers responsible for public health and TB control were all aware of the seriousness of the problem. By 1992, TB genotyping was shown to accurately discriminate among strains of TB. By comparing isolates from among multiple TB patients, one could determine which ones were closely related, and thus share the same source. Investigation of the relationships among the patients with related isolates could then identify sources and circumstances of infections. The question remained, could this be done on a large scale and what was the overall benefit to universal application of this technology? 2. Program management The National TB Genotyping and Surveillance Network was established as a pilot research project involving 7 state departments of health and 7 matched genotyping laboratories at departments of health or universities. The study sites were funded through CDC cooperative agreements and a protocol was developed, which received human subjects research exemption.
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop The participants had performance goals and targets pertaining to quickly identifying cases and obtaining isolates, conducting interviews, performing the genotyping, supplying results, etc. The outcomes were not set as quantitative goals but rather descriptive objectives- the reason for the research was to see what quantitative outcomes might be achieved by the process. The objectives of the research were to: Determine the relative frequency of TB strains in specific geographic areas Determine the extent of spread of related TB strains in communities Describe the geographic mobility of TB strains and the mode in which they spread Determine the relatedness of TB strains in patients and determine high risk of TB through conventional epidemiologic studies Develop the capacity of local TB controllers to identify patients with related TB strains who deserve careful investigation, and compare the results to those of traditional investigations. Assess the use of TB genotyping in guiding TB control activities. If TB control is successful, then fewer patients should have isolates that cluster by genotyping analysis. 3. Program organization In this case, the users are long time collaborators with and fund recipients of the CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE). Some of the local sites had DTBE employees working full time as public health advisors (there are over 300 CDC TB public health advisors assigned to state public health departments around the country). One independent professional organization, the National TB Controllers Association, provided a conduit for communication and external review that was very useful. 4. The decision-support system The main elements of the TB genotyping project are the results of laboratory analysis of TB isolates from patients and the epidemiologic investigation based on those results. The laboratorians and the epidemiologists are rather distinct groups, often geographically separated, with a long history of poor communications. Some epidemiologists considered the best scientific method to include “blinding” the laboratorians to the details of the patients of the outcomes of investigation, lest the laboratorians be biased in their analysis of genotype patterns. Overcoming this obstacle such that all participants were sharing information took constant effort through multiple project officer site visits, objectives for internal conferences, and annual meetings whereby the results of good communications could be shared as examples.
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop 5. Learning orientation The program was set up as a research study. We did not know what the outcome would be and participants were eager to learn and apply the best genotype interpretation and epidemiologic investigation decisions, which necessarily changed with experience. The program received informal, internal CDC evaluation, and at the project period end, a working group established by the National TB Controllers Association reviewed results to provide guidance to TB controllers generally in the use of genotyping in TB control. I consider the project to have suffered from little external review, however. Ultimately, success was based on the ability to meet the objectives, disseminate results and impact TB rates in the study localities. Probably the most difficult problems were administrative- participants falling behind in their investigations, slow or confusing genotype results from laboratories, and poor communications. The original cooperative agreement mechanism for funding made it difficult to fund based on set requirements. In the second phase for universal implementation, contracts have been established for genotyping laboratories. 6. Continuity and flexibility The pilot study was funded through cooperative agreement over a 5-year study period for both laboratory and surveillance sites. This funding was subject to available funds of the Division of TB Elimination. No other direct federal funding source was available, though some academic laboratories also had NIH funded projects. State funds were also applied to this project in the form of human resources as these were people responsible for TB control in the participating states. In phase 2, new methodologies allow high throughput at just two laboratories covering the whole country and ultimately responsible for genotyping about 10,000 isolates a year. These laboratories operate under contract with CDC. State epidemiologists currently do not receive federal funds specifically for this activity, though TB control programs receive state and federal support for general surveillance and investigative capacity. 7. Other insights? Success builders: The project must be based on sound scientific theory with demonstrable impact- it’s what people can believe in. People must be acknowledged, especially those who may not often receive acknowledgment. They should be given the chance to present the fruits of their toil at meetings and conferences and publish their results. People must feel that their career is enhanced, both by personal satisfaction and on their resume. Communications need to be enhanced at every opportunity. One of the best is a general meeting of participants, face-to-face and sharing experiences and problems in an encouraging atmosphere. Communications are also enhanced by a communicative project officer.
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop An energetic leader who listens, but is also not afraid to direct, is critical. Part of the direction is to keep the objectives focused on outcomes rather than process. Failure signs Starting too ambitious and big. Make sure what you start can be administratively well managed and has the best chances for success. Trying to grow and implement without adequately demonstrating impact in the right way and to the right people, leading to poor support. A very narrow source of funding support. 8. Other issues? Question: Are there any other issues that you would like to discuss during the workshop? 9. Contact information CDC TB Genotyping Network Dr. Lisa Rosenblum Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MS-E10 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30333 Ph: 404-639-8116 10. Representative publications/products CDC TB Genotyping Network Castro KG, Jaffe HW. Rationale and methods for the National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 2002 Nov [date cited];8. Available at: [http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol8no11/02-0408.htm] Crawford JT, Braden CR, Schable BA, Onorato ID. National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network: design and methods. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 2002 Nov [date cited];8. Available at: [http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol8no11/02-0296.htm] Ellis BA, Crawford JT, Braden CR, McNabb SJN, Moore M, Kammerer S, et al. Molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis in a sentinel surveillance population. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 2002 Nov [date cited];8. Available at: [http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol8no11/02-0403.htm] Braden CR, Crawford JT, Schable BA. Quality assessment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis genotyping in a large laboratory network. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 2002 Nov [date cited];8. Available at: [http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol8no11/02-0401.htm]
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop The TB Genotyping program application instructions and users guide (available through contact listed previously). NASA Earth Science Results for Public Health Surveillance: Robert Venezia NASA 1. Problem definition The program integrates NASA Earth science results into public health surveillance systems. NASA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials dialogued for nearly three years to match Earth science results with public health surveillance needs. Earth scientists and aerospace engineers met with epidemiologists and public health policy makers to explore requirements. The primary difference between the initial formulation and the final problem definition reflected the difference between science and operations or “public health practice.” The initial formulation considered interesting public health science questions that could be addressed using Earth science results. However, what was needed was the ongoing, systematic collection, interpretation, and analysis of data for health events. This is not research. 2. Program management The program sought existing decision support systems or those under construction by the public health practice community. These systems became the focus of the program or the “project.” The goals of these efforts were to enhance the descriptive and predictive capabilities of the surveillance systems using NASA Earth science results. The public health practice community set the performance measures for descriptive and predictive capability after discussing the strengths and limitations of the Earth science data for potentially doing so. In one project with the CDC, enhancements to the decision support system were driven by an MOU with NASA. Congress mandated the system addressed by this MOU and maintained interest in the collaboration. 3. Program organization Boundary conditions were spanned by addressing only recognized public health priority subjects. For example, it would have been interesting to study several mosquito-borne diseases using Earth science results. However, asthma and air pollution proved to be more appropriate subjects based on documented morbidity, mortality, lost economic productivity and research spending by the public health community. Users and producers could readily agree to focus in these areas. 4. The decision-support system The program did not develop the decision support system. In fact, the key point is that NASA Earth science results are merely enhancing one owned and operated by another agency and community. NASA’s role will be to provide data and observations (ironically a “single piece of the chain”) to describe the attributable risk of disease from environmental factors. If that attributable risk is 40%, then NASA will have contributed to understanding that 40% of the cause of the disease in question. The challenge was to integrate those data and observations into a decision support system that was not originally designed to handle that type and amount of
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop information. Data pipelines between global change producers and public health decision-makers simply did not exist. 5. Learning orientation Meeting deadlines in delivering components of the system to our CDC colleagues is one critical measure of success. Another will be implementing technologies on the NASA side that have proven track records. Managing CDC’s expectations will also be very important. To do this, both sides require a solid understanding of what each will do. 6. Continuity and flexibility The program is fortunate to be driven by congressional mandate. Therefore, NASA’s partners in the effort have relatively secure funding streams. The program seeks to bridge three disparate disciplines (Earth science and aerospace with public health). Curriculum development and interdisciplinary research are encouraged at the national level. NASA is working with the Association of Schools of Public Health, the American Public Health Association, and other public health academic leaders to address the issue. NASA and NCAR are co-sponsoring a summer institute for graduate students interested in linking climate change science with public health. 7. Other insights? At some point, those responsible for action must be made aware of the wealth of pertinent knowledge. At the same time, those responsible for generating that knowledge, must recognize that it is not available to those who need it for decision-making in a timely manner and in a readily useful format. Contact information Dr. Robert Venezia Program Manager, Public Health NASA Office of Earth Science email@example.com 202-358-1324 Representative publications/products NASA’s Earth Science Applications website: [http://earth.nasa.gov/eseapps/] NASA’s Public Health Program: [http://earth.nasa.gov/eseapps/theme11.htm] NASA’s Earth Science for Society Brochure, which discusses all 12 of our applications areas: Please go to the drop box at [http://ese-dropbox.hq.nasa.gov/ese-dropbox/] and click on “Science for Society brochure”
Representative terms from entire chapter: