The HIV-HCV Knowledge to Action (K2A) Program works to increase the application of the Program Science framework among community members, public health professionals/practitioners, service providers and researchers to prevent new infections and improve the health and well-being of people affected by HIV, HCV and STBBI in communities across Canada. K2A activities include training workshops, conference sessions, mentorship, science cafes, and e-learning models that focus on fostering academic/community interactions. These activities include the direct participation of HIV and HCV service organizations and persons living with HIV and HCV and result in improvements to the ways programs are designed, implemented and evaluated, thus strengthening Canada’s HIV/HCV/STBBI response.
WHAT IS PROGRAM SCIENCE?
Program Science emphasizes collaboration between the science that studies key health and social issues and the actual programs that serve affected people. Specifically, Program Science is “the systematic application of theoretical and empirical scientific knowledge to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of public health programs” (Blanchard, 2012). Beyond that technical definition, Program Science ensures research is driven by public health programs and their field-level challenges and experiences. It is focused on gathering information while programs are happening – during their planning, implementation, and evaluation phases – to support program improvements and to allow for the scale-up and transfer of effective programs to other locations and populations. The goal of Program Science is to reduce incidence by optimizing the choice of “the right strategy for the right populations at the appropriate time” (Blanchard, 2012). Further simplified, Program Science is turning what we know into what we do.
The HIV and HCV Knowledge to Action program is a joint effort of the Canadian Association for Global Health (CAGH) and the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR), funded by the Community Action Fund (PHAC).