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Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
ated, respectively, and used evaluation criteria and scoring mechanisms provided by the Committee for the Review of NIOSH Research Programs (IOM and NRC, 2006; NRC and IOM, 2007).
The Committee to Review the NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research Program was convened by the National Research Council in late 2006 under the auspices of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (see Appendix G). Committee members were chosen because of their expertise in epidemiology, agricultural engineering, industrial hygiene, respiratory diseases, zoonotic diseases, mental health, rural health, exposure assessment, child and adolescent safety, ergonomics, farmworker safety and health, and fishing safety and health. Committee members have varied experience in such settings as academe, industry, and labor organizations. The statement of task for the committee is in Box 1-1.
The committee was charged with reviewing the AFF Program, evaluating the relevance of its work to improvements in occupational safety and health, and evaluating its impact on reducing workplace illnesses and injuries. As suggested in the statement of task, the committee’s review was guided by the Framework Document (Appendix A) that was developed by the National Academies’ Committee for the Review of NIOSH Research Programs.
The Framework Document
The Framework Document directs that relevance be evaluated in terms of the significance of research and connection to improvements in workplace protection. It identifies factors to take into account, including the frequency and severity of health outcomes and the number of people at risk, the structure of the program, and the degree of consideration of stakeholder input. The impact of the program’s research is to be evaluated in terms of its contributions to worker safety and health. The evaluation is to take the form of qualitative assessments and the assignment of integer scores of 1-5 for the relevance and impact of the AFF Program’s research and other activities.
The guidance in the Framework Document reflects the terminology and organization of a logic model adopted by NIOSH to characterize the steps in its work. The logic model used by the AFF Program appears as Figure 1-1. To assess the relevance of the program’s research, the committee examined goals, inputs, activities, and outputs; to evaluate the impact of the program’s research, it focused principally on intermediate and end outcomes. External factors were taken into consideration in the evaluation. The committee separately envisioned what an ideal AFF research