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Nuggets from the Health Program Evaluation Field

Grembowski, D.  The Practice of Health Program Evaluation.  Sage, 2001.  Info about this book from Google books.

Not a new book, but an interesting one, with information of potential use to us in thinking about evaluating health information outreach.  Some general overview perspective from the book:

  • Most evaluations are conducted to answer two questions:  Is the program working?  Why or why not?
  • All evaluation is political since judging worth is based on attaching values.
  • Evaluation as a 3-act play:  Act 1 is asking questions; Act 2 is answering them; Act 3 is using these answers in decision-making.
  • Evaluators’ roles range from objective researcher through participant, coach, and advocate.
  • Evaluations look at the “theories” behind programs, such as the causes and effects of implementing activities.
  • Premises underlying cost-effectiveness analysis: health care resources are scarce, resources have alternate uses, people have different priorities, there are never enough resources to satisfy all.
  • Evaluation standards include utility (results are intended to be used), feasibility (methods should be realistic and practical), propriety (methods should be ethical, legal, and respectful of the rights and interests of all participants), accuracy (produce sound information and conclusions that are related logically to data).

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