The course presented in this publication defines operations research (OR) as the study of factors under the control of health program managers and other decision-makers. The purpose of OR is to improve programs and provide information for management decision-making. Successful OR is characterized by a close collaboration between program managers and researchers throughout the study. The course focuses on OR as a branch of the behavioral sciences and deals with formative research and field experiments. It concentrates on improving the research knowledge of managers who have had little or no training in research. The focus of this interactive course is on improving the quality of the manager-researcher interaction and, hopefully, an increase in the use of OR as a program improvement tool. It is essential that facilitators have a background in applied health research, especially in field experiments and intervention programs. The course, which is based on the experience of many researchers, especially those who have participated in the FRONTIERS program, has been conducted in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, former Soviet Bloc countries, and the United states.
Foreit, James R. and M.E. Khan. 2008. "Operations Research for Managers of Reproductive Health Programs." Washington, DC: Population Council.