During a pub-620: planning and evaluation in public health course, students learn and apply competencies related to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of health promotion and disease prevention programs. Health behavior theories are considered in the development of health promotion programs, the application of evaluation findings, and prioritization of community concerns and resources. Focus is placed on needs assessment, selecting interventions, measuring program outcomes, and collaborating with stakeholders. Moreover, students identify methods for data collection, tools for program and resource management, and strategies for assessing the effectiveness of programs, including cost-benefit analysis.
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Definition of public health?
Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing, and responding to infectious diseases.
Planning and evaluation in public health.
Planning is a process of deciding where we want to get to, that is our goals and objectives, and how we will get there. On the other hand, evaluation is a tool that enables us to access how well we are doing and to learn from this. These are two important tools not only for health care organizations but also for any other organization that exists to make a significant contribution to society.
Benefits of planning.
- It aids us to identify our goals clearly. Moreover, it allows us to decide clearly and concretely what we need to do to have the effect on society that we want.
- It allows us to make sure that we all understand our goal and what we need to do to reach it by involving everyone in the planning process.
- It helps to make us all work in a goal-oriented way rather than in a loose or ad-hoc way where we just respond to issues and crises with no clear plan or goal.
- Planning helps everyone to see in advance those things that can help them achieve their goal and those things that can prevent them from achieving their goal and work out what to do about them.
- It helps us to be answerable for what we do.
- Planning helps us decide how best to use our resources (people, time, money, information, equipment) so that they make the most significant contribution to achieving our goal.
- Planning lays the basis for us to assess and evaluate our achievements effectively.
Benefits of evaluation.
- Evaluation helps the whole health care organization to identify how we could improve what we are achieving, take action to build on successes, and avoid repeating failures.
- Effective evaluation enables us to use what we have learned from our experience to improve what we are achieving.
Challenges faced by health care organizations make careful planning difficult.
- Having complex goals for changing society, which is difficult to specify and measure exactly, and has different meanings for different stakeholders. Therefore, a healthcare organization should have clear and concise goals.
- Another challenge is having different or conflicting values and expectations among the different groups involved.
- Many different stakeholders may have different needs, interests, and concerns and thus believe that they have different priorities.
- Difficulties in measuring achievements. The health care organization determines how well things were done rather than on how many things were done.
- Non-profit organizations frequently need to give as much attention to choosing the best way (or the means) of achieving goals as to the goals (ends) themselves. Therefore, these organizations need to build capacity and commitment through involving targeted communities by giving attention to including groups thus ensuring that their work moves forward in sustainable ways.
- The connection between the effectiveness of non-profit organization’s services and the resources they get is weak or non-existent. Thus, it is quite difficult for non-profit organizations to evaluate their progress.
- The success of our work often depends on other organizations or people. Thus, it is difficult for non-profit organizations to achieve effective results on their own.