Evaluation will drive action on BC health research strategy

18 February 2016

Evaluation of the BC health research strategy is moving forward.

A draft evaluation framework has been completed with input from a small working group consisting of representatives of MSFHR, the BC Ministry of Health, the Provincial Health Services Authority, and BC’s research universities, as well as health research evaluation experts within and outside BC. Dr. Stephen Hanney, an international expert in health research system evaluation, is providing guidance on the evaluation and its implementation.

Next steps include refinement of the methodology for a first-year evaluation of the strategy, which is expected to begin this spring. The first-year evaluation will focus on understanding collective work underway and identifying key markers of progress – at a system level and for each of the strategy’s three directions – as well as key achievements of the BC health research strategy to date. Gaps in the strategy’s implementation will also be gauged.

The first-year evaluation will inform the strategy’s further evolution and provide recommendations for ongoing evaluation. Its findings will help inform decisions about investments and initiatives to support the generation and use of health research.

The evaluation is also expected to drive action towards the strategy’s vision and catalyze actions to fill identified gaps. Potential users of its findings include provincial government and health authority decision-makers, university research executives and administrators, research institute leaders, funding agencies, public and patient involvement advocacy groups, industry, and researchers.

The BC health research strategy aims to support greater coherence and a common understanding of priorities among BC’s health research community. It lays the foundation for a strong, vibrant health research enterprise that will use research to address priority health challenges and improve the health of British Columbians.

A strategy document, Directions for Health Research in BC, was published in fall 2014 to outline the directions and related actions required to build, maintain, and improve the health research system in BC. The BC health research strategy is facilitated by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and was developed with input from researchers, health-care providers, decision makers and patient representatives from across BC.