Operational research is “research into strategies, interventions, tools or knowledge that can enhance the quality, coverage, effectiveness or performance of the health system or programme in which the research is being conducted” . Locally relevant operational research is a high priority for national TB programs. Intensified research and innovation is a key pillar of the END TB Strategy highlighting the vital role of operational research in successful TB control efforts. Improving research capacity in high burden settings is a priority; yet many countries have been unable to fully incorporate operational research into program activities due, in part, to limitations in both local capacity and available technical assistance.
Since its launch in 2008, TREAT TB has provided health professionals in high burden countries with the training needed to conduct high-quality operational research independently. In collaboration with TREAT TB partner organizations, The Union and Vital Strategies have produced several free online educational resources including an interactive e-tool, Introduction to Operational Research, which provides health practitioners and researchers with a foundational overview of operational research concepts and practices. This e-tool is available for free on the TREAT TB website in both English and Spanish.