Evaluation helps in decision making by indicating the real (vs. assumed) effectiveness of an approach. The best-planned programs, in fact, have an evaluation process built in as part of their design. Bring to mind an example of when you have performed some kind of formal or informal evaluation. Perhaps you evaluated students in a class you were teaching, to help you understand how well you communicated the subject matter. Or perhaps you evaluated the results of different investments you made and compared them. Did the results of the evaluation surprise you? Did you make use of those results to change your approach?
To evaluate whether goals are being achieved, you must have measurable objectives and be able to find the necessary data with which to measure if those objectives are being met.
List the 3 – 5 measurable objectives you already identified in the Week 7 Application. Revise them if you can improve on them.
Explain how you will measure the objectives to determine if you have reached your goals. Include a description of how you will get the data with which to evaluate your objectives. Remember the need to be realistic in your use of resources and, wherever possible, aim to use data that are being collected by others.
Course Text: Public Health Administration by Lloyd Novick, Cynthia Morrow, and Glen Mays
Chapter 18, “Evaluation of Public Health Interventions”
As explained in this chapter, evaluation is used in public health to measure the effectiveness of programs and thereby provide information about what works and what does not. Various evaluation methods are discussed, including economic analyses and formative methods. Among the evaluation frameworks discussed in this chapter is the CDC’s six-step cycle, found on page 524.
The Web pages on the CDC site provide explanation of a framework for program evaluation that has been developed by the CDC Evaluation Working Group and include additional resources that may help when applying the framework. As the Group notes, “Program evaluation is an essential organizational practice in public health; however, it is not practiced consistently across program areas, nor is it well-integrated into the day-to-day management of most programs.”
Discuss some of the obstacles you can foresee in this process and how you would try to overcome them.
Indicate whether the evaluative measures are process (activities) or outcomes.
Review the budget you created in Week 8. Does your budget reflect the costs for evaluation? If so, do you think it is sufficient? If not, how would you amend to cover the costs of evaluation?
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