Program planning is a multi-step process that generally begins with the definition of the problem and development of an evaluation plan. Although specific steps may vary, they usually include a feedback loop, with findings from program evaluation being used for program improvement.
When describe a health problem, That involves:
• Assessing population health data
To better understand a health problem, you should review population health data to identify mortality rates, incidence, and prevalence. By reviewing surveillance data, survey results, health records, and other data sources, you can also obtain information about the distribution of the health problem in terms of person, place, and time, as well as the risk factors.
• Assessing community needs
In addition to reviewing health data, you may learn about the health problem and health status of the community by meeting with or surveying community members, leaders, and stakeholders. Through focus groups, surveys, and/or interviews, you may ask them their opinion about:
• The importance of the health problem
• Who is affected by the health problem
• Why the health problem exists
• Analyzing data and needs by identifying and (ranking) risk factors and subgroups
After you assess the population health data and community needs, you will get a clearer picture of the factors that may be affecting the health problem as well as the segments of the population who are at the highest risk.
Assessing population health data and community needs is an iterative process. Information you collect from community members may cause you to go back and assess additional population data.
Table 1: Example of a Problem Statement
|Example of a Problem Statement for Country X|
|In this example, since secondhand smoke is the most important and modifiable risk factor, the community has decided to try to influence adults who smoke in the home. 75% of students have at least one parent who smokes in the home. The community believes that this problem of adults smoking in the home and exposing children to secondhand smoke can be the focus of program planning efforts.|
|Problem statement: In 2008, 75% of students in the north region reported having at least one parent who smoked in the home.|
When designing a public health program, need to prepared following steps.
Purpose: to develop a plan to manage stakeholder participation, timelines, resources, and determine methods for data-gathering, interpretation, and decision making. Plan to engage stakeholders, including clients and staff, in a meaningful way. Establish a clear timeline for creating a work plan. Plan how you will allocate financial, material, and human resources. Consider the data required to make decisions at each step and include adequate time for data collection and interpretation. Establish a clear decision‐making process. (e.g., by consensus, by committee)
Purpose: to learn more about the population of interest, trends, and issues that may affect implementation, including the wants, needs, and assets of the community. This step involves identifying: what is the situation; what is making the situation better and what is making it worse; and what possible actions you can take to address the situation. Use diverse types of data (e.g. community health status indicators, stories/testimonials; evaluation findings; “best practice” guidelines), sources of data (e.g. polling companies; community/partner organizations; researchers; governments; private sector); and data collection methods (e.g. stakeholder interviews or focus groups; surveys; literature reviews; review of past evaluation findings or stakeholder mandates/policies).
Purpose: to use situational assessment results to determine goals, populations of interest, outcomes and outcome objectives. Ensure program goals, populations of interest and outcome objectives are aligned with strategic directions of your organization or group:
Purpose: to use the results of the situational assessment to select strategies and activities, feasible with available resources, that will contribute to your goals and outcome objectives. Brainstorm strategies (e.g. health education, health communication, organizational change, policy development) for achieving objectives using one or more health promotion frameworks such as the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion or the socioecological model. Prioritize ideas by applying situational assessment results. Identify specific activities for each strategy, including which existing activities to start, stop, and continue. Select outputs and develop process objectives. Consider available
Purpose: to develop a list of variables that can be tracked to assess the extent to which outcome and process objectives have been met. For each outcome and process objective consider the intended result and whether: the intended result can be divided into separate components; the intended result can be measured; there is appropriate time for observing a result; required data sources are accessible; and the resources needed to assess the result are available. Define indicators to measure each outcome and process objective and perform a quality check on proposed indicators ensuring they are valid, reliable, and accessible. Indicators are used to determine the extent to which outcomes and process objectives were met.
Purpose: to clarify the contribution of each component of the plan to its objectives, identify gaps, ensure adequate resources, and ensure consistency with the situational assessment findings. A logic model is a graphic depiction of the relationship between all parts of a program (i.e., goals, objectives, populations, strategies, and activities) and is one way in which a program overview can be communicated. Review the plan to determine whether: strategies effectively contribute to goals and objectives; short-term objectives contribute to long-term objectives; the best activities were chosen to advance the strategy; activities are appropriate to the audiences; and the resources are adequate to implement the activities.
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