What is the CAHS Impact Framework?

A previous assessment entitled Making an Impact: A Preferred Framework and Indicators to Measure Returns on Investment in Health Research proposed a new impacts framework and a preferred menu of indicators and metrics that could be used for evaluating the returns on investment in health research. The CAHS impact framework demonstrates how research activity informs decision making, eventually resulting in changes in health and economic and social prosperity.  The framework also shows how research impacts feed back upstream, potentially influencing the diffusion and impacts of other research, and creating inputs for future research.  This framework builds on the combined logic model and impacts approach of the “payback model” (Buxton, M.J., and Hanney, S.R., 1996 – adapted by CIHR in Canada in 2005 and 2008), revised by our panel into a “systems approach” to capture impacts. It is designed to be used as a roadmap to track health‐research impacts in five main categories: 1) advancing knowledge, 2) building capacity, 3) informing decision‐making, 4) health impacts, and 5) broad socio‐economic impacts.

What is a Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) assessment?

Assessments involve understanding what we know and—more importantly—what we do not know about the science underlying an issue within Canadian health care. These assessments define questions that remain unanswered and establish a holistic view of complex issues by examining the validity of the science informing them. They are grounded on the CAHS’ underlying mission: conducting strategic, unbiased, and expert collaborative reports, based on transparency and independence.

Why is the CAHS leading this work?

In 2009, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences released the results of a comprehensive assessment, publicly proposing the CAHS Impact Framework, and is currently continuing its efforts to further substantiate evidence in the field. The CAHS has completed assessments on other key issues where there is interest in a pan-Canadian approach. The most recent assessment was on the health workforce and prior to that on autism and dementia.

Is the panel influenced by specific groups and/or specific views?

No. Panel members make a commitment to be open to the ideas of others. CAHS brings together experts in an unbiased, transparent, and independent way to provide evidence-based reports that are meant to inform policymakers.

Who will the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences consult with for this assessment?

CAHS will engage and consult with academic professionals who are experts in the field, and with representatives of Canadian non-for-profit health charities engaged in either conducting or financing research independently of government funding. This consists of a diverse array of organizations, including various levels of disease specificity, demographic considerations (such as gender, age, ethnicity), and geographical reach. This entails the inclusion of national, provincial/territorial, and regional organizations of varying scales.

About the Assessment
Engagement Process