The committee was directed by the Framework Document to consider stakeholder input in assessing the impact and relevance of the NIOSH AFF Program. Issues of interest included whether stakeholder input was taken into consideration in shaping the program and stakeholders’ views on the program’s research activities and products.
The Framework Document did not specify the means of eliciting input from stakeholders. The committee determined that conducting a systematic survey was not feasible within the constraints of the project. As an alternative, the committee invited stakeholders to provide comments relevant to its evaluation of the impact and relevance of the NIOSH AFF Program. The objective was to assemble comments from a diverse group of organizations and individuals. Individual invitations to comment were sent to about 200 people and organizations. The invitation was also posted on a publicly available Web site.
The committee identified possible stakeholders in the NIOSH AFF Program through several means. The intramural research program provided a list of its stakeholders, who included collaborators and partners. Working independently and drawing on suggestions from committee members and staff, the committee identified as possible stakeholders individuals and organizations with an interest in equipment safety, child and youth safety in agriculture, occupational chemical exposures, farmworker safety and health, logger safety and health, fishing vessel safety, and labor issues. The group included researchers in academe and private organizations, professional societies, organizations representing labor and industry, and others that deal directly with AFF safety and health or were considered likely to be aware of safety and health issues. Stakeholders were identified in the various sectors associated with AFF: academe, government, non-profit interests, and labor. The committee also identified potential stakeholders among minority-group professional organizations and small business associations. The list of stakeholders included representatives of federal and state agencies and of researchers and organizations in other countries.
The invitation to comment on the NIOSH AFF Program was issued in a letter from committee Chair Paul Gunderson (see Box B-1). The committee staff sent the letter by e-mail in early April 2007 to each of the identified stakeholders. Committee