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Health Data

Collecting health data helps measure, understand and improve the overall health of Boston residents.

  • For more information, contact the Boston Public Health Commission's Research and Evaluation Office

  • 1010 Massachusetts Ave.
    BOSTON, MA 02118

Research and Evaluation Office

Research & Evaluation
The Research and Evaluation Office serves several important functions including:

  • Research
  • Public health surveillance
  • Analysis and interpretation of public health data
  • Program evaluation

The Research and Evaluation office focuses on understanding determinants of health. The office also provides technical assistance to support BPHC programs’ research activities.
Activities include:

  • Preparation of abstracts and manuscripts
  • Review of existing scientific literature
  • Research plan development to reflect program priorities
  • Design of research studies and data collection tools

Program Evaluation
Program evaluations are systematic, objective assessments that check programs for relevancy, effectiveness, sustainability, and impact. Evaluation is a core function of public health, and is critical to understanding if a program is meeting its goals. Evaluation results help define priorities and allocate resources. Evaluation activities include:

  • Collaborate with Boston residents, Boston area community-based organizations, and governmental agencies in inquiry to better understand resident, community, and city-wide needs, efforts, and outcomes
  • Work with programs to identify and enhance achievement of goals and outcomes using evidence
  • Conducting evaluations of BPHC programs 
  • Assisting programs in identifying outcomes using logic models and theory of change frameworks
  • Review program data collection instruments
  • Development of evaluation plans for grants
  • Working with external evaluators

Surveillance and Analysis

Another core function of the research and evaluation program is the collection and analysis of health data. Public health surveillance includes data collected by the program, and local and national sources. 

The data is analyzed and interpreted for dissemination in a variety of sources such as the annual Health of Boston Report. The data is used to:

  • Respond to residents and other stakeholders' public health data requests
  • Help identify priorities for BPHC initiatives
  • Informing public discussion
  • Increase awareness of public health issues
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Guide BPHC program decision-making
  • Evaluating program effectiveness

For data not found in our reports, please download and email/fax a completed Data Request Form.

Data Request Form
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