Saint Louis University

Health programs usually are implemented to achieve specific outcomes by performing some type of intervention or service. While evaluations may be performed for a variety of reasons, most are conducted to answer two fundamental questions: (1) Is the program causing intended changes; and (2) How and why is this the case? Evaluations produce information that helps decision makers to understand the reasons for program performance, and to make informed judgments about improving a program, extending it to other sites, or cutting back or abolishing a program so that resources may be allocated elsewhere. In essence, evaluation is a management or decision making tool for funders, administrators, planners, policy-makers and other health officials.

This course deals with the application of research methods to judge the success of health programs. The course focus is public health programs and health services, although the concepts and methods are equally relevant to other sectors. Lectures and discussions concerning problems and techniques are combined with field experiences in health services delivery
or health programs.

Upon completion of this course students will:
1. Explain concepts, strategies, and techniques for evaluating health programs.
2. Discuss political, administrative, ethical, and cultural issues in evaluating health programs.
3. Describe examples of evaluation research in health services as well as other sectors.
4. Develop an evaluation design of an existing program that addresses a particular health or social problem.
5. Assess the adequacy of proposals and program evaluations designed by others.