Evaluators reviewed the interagency agreements that the Behavioral and Social Research Program of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) has with two Federal agencies. The objective was to revitalize and focus these activities and identify new goals and objectives for the next five years. Agreements with the US Census Bureau (Census) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) have supported publications, dataset development and dissemination, data enclaves (data sites with restricted access), and linkages of datasets with administrative data. Background materials and data were reviewed and a site visit to each agency conducted.
The review committee recommended that NIA support to aging-related activities at NCHS and the Census Bureau continue, with modifications, and that peer review of these agreements occur every five years. The committee provided specific recommendations for the interagency agreements with each agency. For both agreements, the committee recommended that the agencies increase communications, seek additional ways to cooperate on new ventures that enhance the awareness of and interest in aging-related data, and seek to increase use of data among the research community. For the agreement between NIA and NCHS, the committee recommended that the parties: (1) review status of ongoing projects, clarify expectations, and plan future activities; (2) define more carefully the target audiences for all products and programs; (3) consider producing life tables by cohort and education; and (4) develop proposals that make innovative and intellectually exciting use of data. For the agreement between NIH and Census, the committee recommended that the parties: (1) develop clear accountability and mutually agreeable timetables for delivery of products; (2) enhance outreach to scholars and the research community; (3) develop mechanisms to encourage young researchers to use Census datasets and to facilitate exploratory research; (4) take advantage of approaches that would permit access to data sets while maintaining confidentiality; (5) convene experts to examine linkage studies and offer suggestions for improving efficiency of these activities; and (6) continue to expand interaction with the media.
Report Title: Review of NIA-Funded Activities at the National Center for Health Statistics and at the U.S. Census Bureau -- Review Committee Reports http://aspe.hhs.gov/pic/fullreports/06/8431.htm
Agency Sponsor: NIH, National Institutes of Health
Federal Contact: Hamilton, Elizabeth, 301-402-4582
Performer: Rose Li and Associates; Bethesda, MD
PIC ID: 8431