Strengthening the utilisation of family planning operations research: Findings from case studies in Africa

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Operations Research (OR) “is a process, a way of identifying and solving program problems” (Fisher et al., 1991). Fisher et al. describe this five step process as: (1) problem identification and diagnosis; (2) strategy selection; (3) strategy experimentation and evaluation; (4) information dissemination; and (5) information utilization. The process of OR has a clear goal: to obtain information about a problem and ways to address it and to then see that this information is used to strengthen programs. Though it is the ultimate goal of the process, the fifth step—utilization of information—often receives insufficient attention.

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