In this section, you will learn about the methods you should be able to use to conduct evaluation of your own health education work. In Study Session 12, you learnt about four of the ways in which you could carry out a health needs assessment these are observation, in-depth interviews, key informant interview and focus group discussions. These methods can also be used to gather data to evaluate your health education activities. Look carefully at Table 16.1. It details the specific methods that can be used in each type of evaluation.
Table 16.1 Methods used in different types of evaluation.
|Type of evaluation||Methods used to conduct evaluation|
Gather feedback from those people who received health education, for example households, individuals, community key informants, etc.
Use information gathered from interviewing them, and through discussions.
Observe while the health education session is being conducted.
Use a checklist to see whether health education activities are conducted as planned.
Use interviews, focus group discussions and observation methods to check whether:
● behaviour change has taken place,
● the level of knowledge has been improved,
● a desired attitude has been developed,
● a harmful belief has been changed, and if a required skill has been developed (Figure 16.7).
It might be difficult for you to conduct outcome evaluation because this relies on measuring long-term changes; however, you may be able to observe if there are any long-term changes in your community as a result of your activity.
Usually mortality, morbidity and prevalence of disease are measured by detailed research methods, or the collection of statistics by external agencies.
Jimma Zonal Health Department implemented a one-year health education programme focusing on family planning in their rural community. At the end of that year they evaluated the effectiveness of their own programme: whether family planning knowledge, attitudes and practice of couples in their area improved. They interviewed some mothers and their husbands to investigate their knowledge and attitudes about family planning. They also observed whether clients' attendance at family planning clinics had increased. In addition, they reviewed records of health posts and health centres to see the trend of family planning use. What evaluation methods did they use?
According to the information provided above, three evaluation methods were used – interviews, observation and reviews of the records.