viernes, 4 de marzo de 2011

Evaluation and Physical Activity: “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted” Albert Einstein

CDC's Framework for Evaluation in Public Health Programming
The CDC's website  dedicated to evaluation states that "program evaluation is an essential organizational practice in public health; however, it is not practiced consistently across program areas, nor is it well-integrated into the day-to-day management of most programs".Evaluation is a critical component of management of health promotion programs in order to ensure accountability, effectiveness, and using science as a basis for decision making. It ensures accountability to our target population and to our funding sources. 
At first glimpse, physical activity health promotion programs may seem beneficial to promoting health from fighting obesity to depression. But, taking a critical look at physical activity health promotion interventions are critical to ensure that the allocated resources are well spent. The CDC has developed an handbook on physical activity and evaluation that outlines guidelines and indicators in order to ease the evaluation process. 
During the evaluation process of a physical activity health program, both individual and community level indicators should be used. 
Direct individual measures would include the Metabolic equivalent (MET)
intensity levels (MET-minutes per day or week), minutes of physical activity day or week, steps walked per day or week, and individual energy expenditure, whereas indirect indicators would include measures such as BMI and Aerobic Fitness(VO2 max). As public health interventions are focused on promoting health at a larger scale, within a population, ,community level indicators are just important, if not more. As listed below in the chart, there are four categories of community level indicators that should be considered in the evaluation process: policy and regulation, information, environmental, and behavioral outcome measures. 
CDC Physical Activity and Evaluation Handbook

Evaluation is the last step in the Project Cycle Management and is critical to ensure lessons learned and continued improvement in health promotion and public health interventions.  Milton Freidmann's statement that   “one of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results” sums up the importance of managers placing an emphasis on evaluation to ensure accountability

1 comentario:

  1. Great¡
    A very intersting post.
    "everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted”. ...
    There are things that money can`t buy...
    Evaluation is an important topic to discuss.