Program and research goals are aligned to optimize population-level health impact and work toward equity in health outcomes.
This alignment requires sustained engagement and mutually beneficial partnerships involving collaborations between community members; program planners, managers, and implementers; researchers; as well as policy- and decision-makers within national and local-level governments.
Three spheres of practice guide the operationalization of Program Science:
Strategic planning & resource allocation
- Determining program priorities, developing resource allocation strategies
- Characterizing and understanding local epidemiological context to identify priority geographies and populations through multidisciplinary approaches and complementary methods (e.g., population size estimation, rapid ethnographic assessment, biobehavioural survey, mathematical modelling)
- Identifying appropriate program components/services, optimal delivery platforms
- Actively engaging with local community to facilitate contextualized programmatic responses
- Refining and adapting program components, delivery platforms, and implementation strategies using embedded research
Program management & monitoring
- Ongoing program monitoring, including process documentation
- Continuously analysing program data to identify opportunity gaps, monitor indicator quality and validity, and examine trends in program outputs and outcomes
Together, the spheres of practice feed into the development and refinement of shared program learning and research agenda, which are constantly reviewed and revised to accommodate the evolving needs of a public health program.