The committee considered not only what the Mining Program is producing but also whether NIOSH research can reasonably be credited with changes in workplace practices or whether such changes are the result of factors unrelated to NIOSH. At the request of NIOSH, the performance of externally funded research and training programs was not evaluated. This report presents the results of the committee’s review. Committee recommendations are made to facilitate the Mining Program’s ability to conduct the most relevant research, resulting in the greatest positive workplace impact.
The Framework Committee developed guidelines for the evaluation of NIOSH research programs. The resulting Framework Document (Appendix A) is a working document subject to revisions on the basis of input from the various evaluation committees and input from the interested public. The Framework Committee developed a flow chart (Figure 1-1) to guide the evaluation committees. The Framework Document provides the rationale to be used by the evaluation committees in determining final scores for impact and relevance. A final report outline was also suggested. This committee closely followed the suggested guidelines.
To conduct its evaluation, the committee reviewed a substantial amount of material submitted by the Mining Program in the form of the Mining Program Briefing Book (NIOSH, 2005a). This book contains more than 900 descriptive pages of Mining Program goals, activities, and impacts. NIOSH and the Mining Program made 17 presentations to the committee during open session meetings, and the committee interacted with more than 40 Mining Program employees during site visits. The Mining Program also responded to additional written requests for information from the committee. Appendix B lists written and electronic materials received from NIOSH during the course of this review.
In addition to information from the Mining Program, the committee heard nine stakeholder presentations during an open session meeting, including from the acting director of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), labor union representatives, equipment manufacturers, and training consultants. Additional input was received in written response to a broad call for input sent to stakeholders identified by the Mining Program, as well as to professional organizations, state regulatory entities and associations, and other individuals recommended by committee members.
Summary statements in this report are based on the synthesis of this informa-