How can I determine whether or not an intervention is implemented successfully and what lessons public health practitioners can learn from that experience to improve population health in the United...

How can I determine whether or not an intervention is implemented successfully and what lessons public health practitioners can learn from that experience to improve population health in the United States?

Expert Answers
jraineharrison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Once a public health intervention is implemented, the program, or intervention, should then be evaluated to determine its effectiveness.  When conducting a program evaluation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends following a framework for program evaluation. 

In the first step of program evaluation, the reviewer would like to engage stakeholders.  This can be accomplished through personal interviews and focus groups, for examples. Second, the evaluator should describe the program. In order to describe the program, the evaluator may wish to observe the program in action or, if feasible, participate in the program to gain a better understanding of the intervention. Third, the reviewer should focus the evaluation design. The focus should determine what parts of the program specifically should be improved, removed, or stay the same. Fourth, the reviewer should gather credible evidence, or data.  Data can be gathered through analysis of existing data or collecting new data points through qualitative and quantitative surveys. Fifth, the evaluator should have a means to justify conclusions made. Typically, statistical analysis of valid data will demonstrate conclusions and areas for improvement. Finally, the evaluator should ensure use and share lessons learned. Sharing lessons learned may be done through presenting information to a leadership team or creating a report to be utilized by the program evaluated. 

When conducting the program evaluation, however, the reviewer should recognize that each step is not mutually exclusive of the next and many of the steps do overlap.