Designing & Conducting Evaluations of Public Health Interventions
Lessons learned in designing and conducting effective evaluations of public health interventions: Two decades of an LSHTM - Ghana Ministry of Health collaborative programme
Summary: Though underrepresented in the literature, effective field work techniques are an important feature of good quality and appropriate evaluations of public health interventions. Field techniques to be covered in this talk include those used in ascertaining causes of death in study populations -a basis for several key indicators in both MDGs and SDGs - using verbal postmortem data (common in many LMIC settings). Our experience suggests that both narrative reports and closed question responses from family members should be collected for all deaths- and require dedicated interviewer training in quantitative and qualitative methods. Additionally careful thought is required when choosing optimum surveillance models for interventions aimed at improving maternal and child health; what are the issues with pregnancy identification? with collecting data on abortion rates? how do monthly versus infant age-related household visits affect the outcomes? The recently revised Smith, Morrow and Ross Field Trials of Health Interventions Toolbox (2015), provides a good general basis for planning field evaluations; crucially this talk, which is based on a soon-to-be published series of papers in Emerging Themes in Epidemiology, takes a similar though more outcome-focused approach by documenting recommended best practices based on experiences and lessons the authors have learned from working in a rural, low/middle income setting on evaluations of large scale maternal and child health interventions.
This event has been organised as part of the Design and Analysis theme of the Centre for Evaluation.