Health Program Planning and Evaluation

The question of whether the health program they are investing in is effective is an essential matter for most stakeholders. They might not know much about statistics and different types of analysis, so it is imperative to be able to demonstrate them the results in a simple and convincing way. According to Issel and Wells, “answering causal questions is not only a matter of statistical analysis but one of design”. To be able to provide these answers, one needs to complete program effect evaluations and collect the necessary information.

One of the primary ways to gather data is to complete a regression analysis. It means that the analyst collects data regarding the same sample, but at multiple different moments in time. With a health care program, it can be done every week, every fortnight, every month – more or less frequent, depending on the criteria that is being examined. This way, the patterns of the program’s effectiveness can be seen much clearer. It is due to the fact that a lot of programs may have long-term or delayed consequences, and it may not be possible to observe them after a short time.

It is also important to see the dynamic of the results brought by the program – how they change over time, what are the patterns in solving the problem, or, on the contrary, its stagnation. The best way to answer a stakeholder’s questions regarding the efficiency of a program is to explain that the evaluation of the project is an ongoing process, and it requires the regular collection of data during an extended period. Stakeholders can be offered to participate by having access to the data and the course of analysis, which will allow them to be even more certain of how effective the program is.

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