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Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11
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Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities_Nyangara_5.12.11

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  • Facilitator: Florence Nyangara (MCHIP) Panelists: Dennis Cherian (WV) & Alyssa Davis (CW) CORE Group Spring Meeting 2011, Baltimore, MD Session: Thursday May 12 th , 2011: 2:00 – 3:30 PM
  • Ask: What have we learned in the past decade from implementing CB-MNCH programs?
  • - In medicine evidence-based medicine is unquestionable but how many times have we implemented program practices based on: scanty evidence,
  • Continuing challenge to develop pragmatic evaluation designs that meet rigorous scientific standards within field realities – ongoing area of research
  • Groups present on their discussions. Then the 2 grantees.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Operations Research: Methods, Challenges, Emerging Lessons, and Opportunities Florence Nyangara (MCHIP) May 12 th , 2011: 2:00 – 3:30 PM CORE Group Spring Meeting, Baltimore, MD    
    • 2. How the Session is Organized
      • Objectives and expected outcomes
      • Overview of OR as it relates to CSHGP
      • Brainstorming activity (challenges/opportunities)
      • Practical OR experiences from 2 CS grantees:
        • World Vision/Afghanistan (by Dennis Cherian)
        • Concern Worldwide/Burundi (by Alyssa Davis)
      • Conclusions & recommendations
    • 3. Session Objectives
      • Improved knowledge of OR methodologies applicable to community-oriented programs
      • Increased ability to identify opportunities to initiate & implement OR within your programs
      • Increased awareness of the challenges and emerging lessons learned to-date from the field to enhance the quality of OR in INGO programs
      • Next Steps
    • 4. Why care especially now about OR?
      • Limited knowledge on what worked/not worked from our program implementation experience
        • Mistakes are repeated over and over decades
        • Donors – interest on evidence-based programs and policies (USAID, Gates Foundation)
    • 5. Operations Research Lens
    • 6. Existing Types of Evidence
      • Anecdotal / sketchy evidence
      • Past experiences
      • Intuition and/or common sense
      • Testimonials
      • Scientific evidence** (limited)
    • 7. Objectives of OR Studies within the CSHGP’s Context
      • OR provides evidence-based solutions to address programming challenges in delivering and using MNCH interventions in low-resource settings ------ ultimately reduce maternal and child mortality
      • Specifically, OR studies employ scientific research methods to identify program models, strategies, and practices that are capable of improving the delivery and impact of MNCH interventions
          • CSHGP is using OR techniques to test INNOVATIVE solutions
      • Also ,OR studies generates evidence on approaches/practices that are not working to improve MNCH outcomes
    • 8. Examples of programming barriers addressed under CSHGP through Operations Research?
      • Key elements/f actors that influence the scaling-up of high impact MNCH interventions?
      • How can we achieve greater impact with the limited resources in poor communities?
      • How can we improve service delivery system by making it effective and efficient ?
      • How can we improve the quality of services?
      • How can we ensure equity in access and use of MNCH services across all population groups?
      • Is the new practice sustainable ?
    • 9. CSGHP Methods Used
      • Mixed Methods (Qualitative & Quantitative) in
        • Formative phase – mostly qualitative for exploratory and formulating intervention packages
        • Evaluative phase – mostly quantitative
    • 10. OR Study Methods Vary in Rigor
      • Gold Standard: Randomized Control Trials
      • Reality : In most cases RCT is not possible
      • Common methods :
        • Quasi-experimental designs also but varies in rigor, i.e.
          • Pre-posttest with intervention & control design
          • Posttest only design with intervention & control
          • Pre-posttest intervention only design
          • Posttest intervention only design
      • Descriptive (non-experimental) – mostly exploratory
    • 11. OR Studies by the Child Survival & Health Grants Program (CSHGP) OR Study Designs by Level of Rigor Number of CSHGP’s OR Studies Using the Design Experimental Cluster-randomized, pre/posttest design with intervention & control groups 1 Quasi-Experimental Designs Pre/posttest study design with intervention & control group 9 Pre/posttest intervention only design 5 Post-test only design with intervention & control groups 0 Posttest intervention only design 0 Longitudinal cohort study of intervention and comparison groups 1 Non-Experimental Design Descriptive study design (focus groups, key informant interview, and observations) 1
    • 12. Conceptualizing & Implementing OR
      • Is there an operational problem in your program?
      2. Ask other stakeholders if they think and agree that this is a real problem? 3. Is it within your program’s control? 4. Is it researchable i.e. can you collect data to answer it, etc 5. Write the OR objectives and research questions addressing the problem 6. Design a suitable study methodology for the research questions: design of formative/evaluative, target population, sample, sample size, tools 7. If you intend to share your results beyond your program – Obtain IRB 8. Implement the OR 9. Collect and analyze data, use results, package and disseminate results 10. Document every step on the way
    • 13. Challenges in designing a rigorous OR
      • Timing – projects are already underway and it is hard to incorporate a strong evaluation design
      • Scale – many projects are too small to expect to be able to demonstrate impact
      • Pressure for rapid results before projects ends
      • Ethical considerations
    • 14. Brain Storming Exercise
      • What are some of the operational program bottlenecks that could be addressed through OR i.e. opportunities you see in your program for OR
      • What are the challenges (anticipated or experienced) with implementing OR
      • How could we address these challenges?
    • 15. Good OR Practices
      • Detailed documentation – best practices should be multiplied i.e. replication
      • Honesty – lying with data undermines evidence-based program decision-making
      • Research partner – work with an established research partner to ensure quality and credibility of the research.
      • Information use – this must be the main reason driving your research not just as a by - the way or at the end of the project
      • Ethical – the research design & data collection shouldn’t violate human rights, dignity, or deny services for some groups
      • Simplicity – go simple
      • Flexible
    • 16. Next Steps
      • What do you recommend to CORE Group in terms of events or products that would be useful to further build the capacity of the INGO community to implement and publish operations research findings?
    • 17. THANK YOU!

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