Practice and Policy
Even the most rigorous and relevant research will have little public health impact if not understood and used by decision makers. Practice and policy soundbites.
Research Linked to Policy
Dr. Resch led research commissioned by the U.S. government to assess spending on HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and helped revise the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria’s (GFATM) policies on eligibility, prioritization and financing, and development of its new funding model for allocating GFATM resources across diseases and countries.
Educating Future Leaders
Dr. Goldie is leading multi-faceted efforts to advance pedagogy in decision science—from online courses to instructor residencies to develop curricula and fine-tune classroom skills. CHDS is partnering with schools across Harvard to bring decision science to scholars across disciplines, across levels, and across backgrounds.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is decision science used in policy?
Decision science plays an important role in public policy, informing decision makers about the positive and negative effects of alternative policies. For example, cost-effectiveness analysis is widely used to support health care decisions in many countries. Decision analysis often informs clinical guidelines, including screening and treatment guidelines promoted by professional associations and government agencies such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Benefit-cost analysis is required by the governments of many countries as part of the regulatory development process.
Who is Howard Raiffa?
Howard Raiffa (1924-2016) is considered by some to be the pioneer of decision science. Trained in mathematics and statistics, Dr. Raiffa was a theoretician but focused primarily on applications. Among his notable analyses was the siting of a Mexican airport that balanced considerations of noise, safety and convenience, and search algorithms for a lost bomb after a bomber crash. Dr. Raiffa co-founded the Harvard Kennedy School and served on the faculty there for 37 years. His notable publications include books on game theory, negotiation, and choices. He has been remembered in many ways, including a graduate scholarship at CHDS.
What disciplinary departments teach decision science?
As an amalgam of disciplinary fields, courses in decision science can be found in many departments and professional schools. Some schools have research centers specifically devoted to decision science, while courses are commonly offered through departments of economics (decision theory, for example) and mathematics (modeling, for example), as well as statistics, psychology, and political science. Decision science curricula are generally taught at the graduate level, at schools of business or public health, and sometimes at the undergraduate level at an introductory level. Engineering schools teach elements of decision science often from an operations management or research perspective.