Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is a form of assessment used to help improve the performance and achievement of program results and often used by both non-government organizations (NGOs) and government agencies. It utilizes a staircase diagram with six questions related to program planning, monitoring, and evaluation; with information about clarifying the differences. While not specific to health information outreach programs, the Measuring Success Toolkit, from the Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, is about health program planning, monitoring and evaluation. The toolkit provides helpful resources from the initiative’s multi-country perspective of working with the urban poor and the significant health disparities they face that may be helpful to consult when working with health information outreach partners in underserved communities. The Toolkit includes subject-specific M&E resources such as maternal & child health and HIV/AIDS, and the resources within the toolkit are selected by M&E experts and reviewed quarterly following established criteria, to identify important resources from diverse perspectives that include accurate, up-to-date information.
Archive for the ‘Communications Tools’ Category
In January, 2015, the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system will be getting a new interface design, which will streamline the login and manuscript submission processes and provide relevant help information on each screen. The NIHMS sign-in routes will be available from the homepage, with options based on a funding agency or signing in through NCBI. The new homepage will also include a graphic overview of the NIHMS process, allowing you to hover over each step for more information or to click on “Learn More” to read the complete overview in the FAQ. Once you are signed in to NIHMS, you will be directed to your Manuscript List. From this page you can manage and track your existing submissions, submit a new manuscript, and search for a record. You can also click on any headings in the information box to expand a topic and read the help text. The initial deposit will still require you to enter a manuscript and journal title, deposit complete manuscript files, and specify funding information and the embargo.
Key updates will include:
- Assigning an NIHMSID to a record only after files have been uploaded, i.e., at the Check Files step;
- A streamlined deposit process with clearly defined and explained actions in each step;
- Requiring the Submitter to open the PDF Receipt to review the uploaded files and confirm that the submission is complete before advancing to the next step;
- Relevant help information on each page; and
- Requiring the Reviewer to add funding before approving the initial deposit.
The National Library of Medicine’s Refugee Health Information Network (RHIN) resource was a national collaborative partnership with the principal focus of creating and making available a database of quality multilingual/multicultural, public health resources to professionals providing care to resettled refugees and asylees. In October, 2014, NLM’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) broadened the scope of RHIN by rebranding it HealthReach. This was done to better meet the needs of the diverse non-English and English as a second language speaking audiences. HealthReach continues to recognize the importance of providing refugee and asylee specific information while expanding the information provided to meet the needs of most immigrant populations. Over the next several months new resources will be added to the web site. There is also a new Twitter feed, @NLM_HealthReach. There isn’t much change between the old RHIN and the new HealthReach; this was intentional to help with the continuity of service through the transition.
A recent AEA365 Evaluation Tip-a-Day featured a review and several hot tips for Padlet, a freely available web-based bulletin board system. The hot tips include the use of Padlet as an anonymous brainstorming activity in response to a question or idea, and as a backchannel for students or conference attendees to share resources and raise questions for future discussion. Padlet’s bulletin board configuration settings are intuitive and easy to use with various backgrounds and freeform, tabular, or grid note arrangement display on the bulletin board. Free Padlet accounts can be created by either signing up directly or by linking to an existing Google or Facebook account. Padlet includes many privacy options that are clearly explained, including “Private” mode, requiring the use of a password for you and those you invite to participate to access the Padlet, and “Public” mode to view, write or moderate. A new update feature includes a variety of ways to share Padlet data, ranging from choosing the icon for six different social media channels to downloading data as a PDF or Excel/CSV file for analysis. For a trial run of this resource, visit the NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center’s Padlet about the OERC Evaluation Series booklets and leave your input! Posts will be moderated on the Padlet before they display publicly.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a freely available ‘how to’ resource Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Programs: A Self Study Guide. Examples of public and community health programs that can be considered for program evaluation include direct service interventions, community-based mobilization efforts, research initiatives into issues such as health disparities, advocacy work, and training programs. The guide is available online or as a PDF document that consists of a six-step process (from Engaging Stakeholders to Ensure Use of Evaluation Findings), a helpful Glossary of program evaluation terminology, and Resources for additional publications, toolkits, and more to support public and community health program evaluation work. A related CDC guide A Framework for Program Evaluation is one of several resources featured in the Evaluation Planning section of the NN/LM OERC Tools and Resources for Evaluation web page.
An innovative and compelling approach to creating qualitative data visualizations with illustrations is provided by Fresh Spectrum. The process begins by taking a long narrative such as a focus group transcription, and chunking it into a few paragraphs per concept with a unique illustration for each one. One option is to use your organization’s existing images or Creative Commons-licensed images for illustrating concepts. The next step for the visualization uses the images with brief captions as an online data dashboard, where visitors can click on the captioned image of interest to them to access the more detailed narrative. One example describes how to do this within a WordPress portfolio blog template, or a simpler strategy of creating HTML anchor links to each individual section within a longer text, which then leads to the longer narrative.
The American Evaluation Association (AEA) sponsors a Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i) that has a stated purpose of helping evaluators improve their presentation skills, both within a conference setting and as part of individual practice. P2i challenges evaluators to hone in on three concepts: Their message, their design, and their delivery.
There are a wealth of handouts available as PDF files, Word documents, and Powerpoint presentations available from the p2i tools website that sometimes include AEA conference specifications in addition to many great messaging, designing and delivery principles. For an example of each principle be sure to check out the Presentation Preparation Checklist, How to Design a Research Poster, and the Delivery Glue Handout.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) are pleased to announce the 2014 AHCJ-NLM Fellows. This year’s class features eight reporters and editors representing diverse media backgrounds and interests. The program, now in its sixth year, brings journalists selected by AHCJ to NLM for four days of training in use of NLM’s health information resources, such as PubMed, PubMed Health, Genetics Home Reference, TOXMAP, ClinicalTrials.gov, and MedlinePlus. The Fellows also receive briefings about health care issues, such as the adoption of electronic health records by patients and health care providers, as well as consumer health resources provided by the National Cancer Institute. New in 2014, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) will update the AHCJ-NLM Fellows about innovative health care issues, such as comparative effectiveness research.
The 2014 AHCJ-NLM Fellows are:
- Karen Bouffard, health care writer, The Detroit News. Bouffard was a 2013 National Health Journalism Fellow with the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism.
- Matthew Glasser, health and medical producer, NBC Southern California. Glasser is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and was the co-creator and executive producer of NurseTV and Healthcare Heroes.
- Sarah Karlin, senior writer, The Pink Sheet and The Pink Sheet DAILY. Karlin formerly was the FDANews’ congressional and generic drugs editor.
- Kimberly Leonard, health reporter and producer, U.S. News & World Report. Leonard was a health reporter with the Center for Public Integrity prior to joining U.S. News & World Report.
- Cheryl Platzman Weinstock, freelance health/science writer, who specializes in women’s health issues. Weinstock’s work frequently appears in the New York Times, Women’s Day, and the Oprah Magazine. She contributed to the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of 9/11.
- Marie Powers, staff writer, BioWorld Today. Powers was part of the BioWorld Today team, which received the Best Daily Publication award in 2013 and 2014 from the Specialized Information Publishers Association.
- Cindy Sharp, health and medical reporter, Associated Press Television and Online Video. Sharp previously worked for MSNBC and Tribune Broadcasting.
- J.K. Wall, health care reporter, Indianapolis Business Journal, and The Dose, a blog on health care finance. Wall worked as a business reporter at The Indianapolis Star before joining the Indianapolis Business Journal.
Due to recent software updates on nnlm.gov, Internet Explorer 8 is no longer supported. Some read-only sections of nnlm.gov will continue to be available via IE8. However, anyone using IE8 will probably not be able to submit assignments in online courses utilizing the NN/LM Moodle framework, and may not even be able to access and log into Moodle courses. Other nnlm.gov services that require data to be posted to the server are also likely to fail. In addition, DOCLINE will not support IE8 after the end of 2014. Please visit the NN/LM System Requirements page to see a complete list of supported browsers. For best usability, NLM recommends that libraries should begin talking to their local IT departments about upgrading their browsers to at least Internet Explorer 10.
Starting January 12, 2016, Microsoft will drop support, including security updates, for older Internet Explorer browser versions. Only the most recent version of IE for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates. Microsoft’s Stay up-to-date with Internet Explorer blog page provides a good explanation of why IE users should upgrade to the most current version.
The Engaged Librarian: Crafting an Effective Assessment Plan to Determine the Impact of a Key Strategic Library Initiative, by Sarah Murphy at The Ohio State University (OSU), was presented during the 2014 Library Assessment Conference, held earlier this month in Seattle, WA. The presentation provided an overview to the use of a logic model as part of library strategic planning. The project incorporated the theory of change methodology with logic models and used the Kellogg Foundation Logic Model as a template. They storyboarded data within a data dashboard that was both aligned with and broken down by the applicable OSU strategic vision goals. Ms. Murphy reported that the benefits of using a logic model approach included having a flexible but structured way to do library assessment planning, having a collaborative and inclusive approach, creating a project focus, being able to assess linear and iterative programs and services, and the ability to communicate program accomplishments in interesting ways. During the question and answer session they noted they are also Tableau fans and like to create data structures in their dashboard to avoid information silos.
To learn more about logic models and data dashboards, check out the freely available NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) Evaluation Guides, especially Planning Outcomes-Based Outreach Projects. Also available is a recording of the one-hour presentation Data Dashboards: Monitoring Progress toward Program Outcomes, part of the NN/LM PSR Midday at the Oasis webinar series.