OHTN funds researchers and community-based research teams to develop, implement and evaluate interventions that improve HIV prevention, treatment and care outcomes. This is often called program or implementation science.
Program science can be thought of as the ongoing collaboration between the science that studies people and the programs that serve people. Information from programs is fed into studies, and information from studies helps to shape and inform programs. Collaborations between and across jurisdictions can help share good ideas and shape program innovation.
Accordingly, in addition to funding researchers in Ontario, OHTN also hosts REACH 2.0 and the Community Based Research Collaborative. These two initiatives are funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. They provide a national infrastructure for collaborations on program science and community based research.
These national projects aim to create and support inter-professional research, policy, and community teams that will:
- Identify the range of existing effective interventions, focusing on interventions that address the needs of the populations most affected by HIV, other STIs, and Hepatitis C.
- Provide support and expertise for front-line organizations and service providers in the evaluation of their programs and services.
- Identify gaps in the implementation, scale-up, and sustainability of effective interventions, and support research to develop packages of interventions.
- Actively engage in applied program science, working regionally to: appraise local HIV, STI and Hepatitis C epidemics; adapt effective interventions for different Canadian contexts; assess the feasibility, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions; and identify factors that might affect scale-up and sustainability.
- Create a strong embedded training and capacity building program in community-based research, intervention research, participatory evaluation, and program science.
- Develop a research and program science partnership among funded centres to maximize the impact of research and knowledge translation resources.