nchrc, “Prioritizing areas of Operational Research in Maternal, Newborn & Child Health”
National Workshop jointly moderated by Indian Council of Medical Research and National Child Health Resource Centre (unit of NIHFW)
Operational research (OR), a sub thematic area of health research is defined as “the use of systematic research techniques for program decision making to achieve a specific outcome”, or as “a process which can provide scientifically credible and valuable information to answer specific questions and significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of programs.”
It provides policymakers and managers with evidence that they can use to improve program operations. Characteristics of Operational Research that makes it different from other research approaches include addressing:
• specific problems and not general health issues,
• programmatic concerns that are under the control of managers such as service delivery, training, managerial issues, and
• use of systematic qualitative and quantitative data for generating evidence.
Close collaboration needs to exist between managers and researchers at each stage of research from identification of research problem, development of study methodology, conducting research, analysis of data to interpretation of results. Operational research is considered successful only if evidence generated is used to make program decisions.
Operational Research in the context of Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI):
NIPI Operations Research Committee which is chaired by the Additional Secretary & Mission Director NRHM, Government of India and Co Chaired by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has the mandate of identifying essential Research which can contribute to improved quality of Neonatal and Child health care services in India in general and in the NIPI supported States in particular. It also assesses Proposals for Studies, Evaluations, Research and Surveys, and provide standards for their implementation.
In accordance with the decisions taken at the 9th Joint Steering Committee (JSC), the Operations Research Committee (ORC) has been reconstituted and the Operations Research component has been handed over to the NIPI Secretariat. Since the 9th JSC, two meetings of the reconstituted ORC have been held in the months of July and August 2010.
In the 1st meeting of the ORC (1 July 2010), a decision was taken to have a sub-committee of the Operations Research Committee with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as the Chair. The mandate of the sub-committee is to finalize the research agenda, review research proposals under operations research before sharing these with all the ORC members for final approval.
The Operations Research Sub Committee has identified a long list of research topics in the domains of child and related maternal health. In order to finalize the research topics keeping in mind the research priorities of key stakeholders, this national consultative workshop is being organized involving representatives from the State, and District levels, relevant research organizations and Medical colleges.