extent that it can be known or surmised in terms of quantifiable outcomes. This chapter presents the results of the committee’s review.
Since 2006, the RDRP has pursued the five strategic goals discussed in Chapter 1 with activities of different breadth. These goals are further subdivided into the subgoals shown in Table 2-1. NIOSH used these five strategic goals and their related subgoals to organize the primary evidence package and presentations provided to the committee. In turn, the committee used the five goals to organize its evaluation of the RDRP. While recognizing that the program did not directly use these goals during most of the period covered by the committee’s assessment, the goals are nonetheless consistent with priorities adopted by NIOSH throughout its history. These goals are also relevant for work related to the NORA priority areas of control technology and personal protective equipment, exposure assessment methods, and intervention effectiveness research. The following sections present the committee’s findings addressing both the overall program and matters concerning individual goals and their related subgoals.
Funding for the program goals has varied over the past 10 years. Table 2-2 provides the budget for the RDRP classified by program goal. The largest fraction of the RDRP budget goes to airway diseases, followed closely by research budgeted for interstitial lung diseases. Table 2-2 also shows that malignancies and nanotechnologies are the smallest components, although spending on nanotechnology research is rapidly increasing. Figure 2-1 shows a trend toward research in airway and interstitial disease and away from the study of occupational respiratory malignancies.
The RDRP operates in an environment shaped by many factors that the program cannot control. Some factors are so fundamental to the nature of the program that the committee found it essential to keep them in mind for all aspects of its review. For example, NIOSH is primarily a research entity. Thus, although NIOSH can issue recommendations, it cannot mandate that such recommendations be implemented in the workplace. Regulatory implementation of NIOSH’s recommendations is left to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Another important consideration is that the RDRP comprises a collection of activities that take place within the 11 organizational units of NIOSH shown in Table 2-3. The program is based on a matrix approach and does not reside within a