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Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2015

Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2015

Evaluating the Impact of NTP: a Case Study on Hexavalent Chromium

For over 35 years, NTP has conducted research and analysis activities and disseminated information about potential health hazards in our environment. NTP sought to develop and apply a methodical approach to broadly assess the program’s impact on stakeholders, including academia, industry, federal agencies, state agencies, nongovernment groups, and international groups. NTP developed a logic model with defined outputs (activities and products) and outcomes (proximal, intermediate, and distal), and applied it retrospectively to the research program on hexavalent chromium (CrVI) as a case study. For proximal outcomes, views of, and requests for, NTP products by external stakeholders were measured. Bibliometric analysis was conducted to account for intermediate outcomes. For distal outcomes, Web and LexisNexis searches were conducted to find references to NTP work in documents related to legislation or regulation changes.

This approach identified awareness of NTP work on CrVI by external stakeholders and citations of NTP research in scientific publications, reports, congressional testimonies, and legal and policy documents. NTP research was key to the nation’s first-ever drinking water standard for CrVI adopted by California in 2014. In applying this approach to a case study, NTP also found challenges to evaluating the outcomes of a research program.

This study was presented at the December 9-10, 2014, NTP Board of Scientific Counselors meeting. A manuscript is in preparation to describe this study’s broad and objective approach for assessing the effectiveness of NTP, including methodological needs for more thorough and efficient impact assessments in the future.