PHAB’s Revised Research Agenda and Logic Model: A Guide for Future Research

PHAB’s Revised Research Agenda and Logic Model: A Guide for Future Research

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) is committed to research and evaluation to drive quality improvement and build the evidence base around public health systems. To help guide these efforts, PHAB developed a logic model and research agenda in 2011. The logic model and research agenda were revised periodically as PHAB learned more about the impact of accreditation, and as more questions emerged. In July 2021, PHAB released a revised logic model and research agenda to align with its strategic plan and streamline research priorities. The current versions emphasize the interconnectedness of the two documents and are designed to be used in conjunction with each other.PHAB’s Revised Research Agenda 

Why Are the PHAB Research Agenda and Logic Model Valuable? PHAB’s Revised Research Agenda 

The Logic Model is a tool to help researchers and evaluators understand the goals of accreditation and to systematically test the links between the work of the accreditation system (including PHAB, health departments, funders, partner organizations, and researchers) and the proximate outcomes, intermediate outcomes, and ultimate outcomes. PHAB’s Revised Research Agenda 

PHAB’s Research Agenda tests the theory of change depicted in the PHAB Logic Model. It also reflects what has been published to date about accreditation and brings attention to areas that require more research and/or are considered priority research areas. Together, the Logic Model and Research Agenda can be used to encourage research in the field and help guide interested researchers.

What Changes Were Made in the Revised Versions?

The revised version of the PHAB Research Agenda and Logic Model has some noticeable differences, including length, colors, and structure. These changes were intended to make it easier for researchers to identify research priorities and focus on future research needs. Major changes in the revised version incorporate PHAB’s strategic priorities, including an increased focus on:

    • Equity
    • Innovation
    • Preparedness
    • Contextual factors that influence accreditation and the public health system

These changes also align with emerging topics shared in Annual Reports by PHAB accredited health departments.

Who Should Use the PHAB Research Agenda and Logic Model?

PHAB encourages further research on the impact and role of public health accreditation. Researchers, public health students, and practitioners are encouraged to reach out if they have a specific question or interest area related to accreditation. Health departments may also be interested in this research to better understand the impact accreditation may have on their health department and in their community.

How Does This Fit in with PHAB’s Data?

While the research agenda primarily focuses on increasing our understanding of accreditation, PHAB is also committed to building the evidence base about public health practice more generally. The accreditation process generates a unique data set that includes peer-reviewed assessments of health department capacity, which PHAB will release for research purposes only. If you are interested in learning more about accreditation data, visit PHAB’s website to submit a data request form or email with questions.

PHAB's Revised Research Agenda and Logic Model

PHAB’s Data Visualization Tool is another resource that researchers may use to explore what we can learn about health department performance on the accreditation standards. Researchers can view aggregate performance data by region, compare health department data using filters, and more. To learn more about the Tool, watch the PHAB Data Portal Overview here.

Do you have a story to share about the impact of accreditation on your health department? Are you interested in using the PHAB Research Agenda and Logic Model to guide upcoming research? Please contact to share.  

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Author Profile

Naomi Rich
Naomi Rich is a Program Specialist at PHAB, where she supports internal research and evaluation related to PHAB accreditation on the Program, Research, and Evaluation team and provides administrative and strategic communications support to the Public Health National Center for Innovations at PHAB team. Prior to joining PHAB in 2020, Naomi applied a community organizing lens to her work in political campaigns, nonprofits, and a communications agency. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management at Georgetown University.