Monitoring and Evaluation in Public Health

The topic for this essay is to write about “What do you understand about Monitoring and
Evaluation in Public Health”

Monitoring and Evaluation in Public Health

In the sector of public health, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) aims at knowing if the
anticipated results will be achieved as designed in the health action plan. Moreover, M&E helps
to determine if the public health strategies are bringing about positive contributions for health in
the community.
After evaluation, program managers are able to decide what services need to be improved
as well as disseminate to stakeholders regarding the success of the program (Sturmberg &
Martin, 2013). During the evaluation, information is gathered systematically and this helps the
stakeholders in understanding the program, making decisions on future program planning, and
improving its effectiveness. Some of the questions that are relevant during evaluation include; if
the program is meeting the anticipated needs, the people being served by the program, the
program’s cost-effectiveness, if the expected outcomes have been achieved, the actions being
done differently by the community after the public health program implementation, the
weaknesses and strengths of the program, if there were unintended program impacts, and the
activities that contribute most.
Evaluation can be done at various points of a program life. A needs assessment is done
before the program commences. It aims at determining the program’s needs and how they can be
addressed. Process evaluation is done during the beginning stages of the implementation. It
purposes at seeing if the program is progressing as planned. Outcome evaluation takes place

MONITORING AND EVALUATION IN PUBLIC HEALTH
during program maturity to assess if the objectives are being fulfilled. Impact evaluation is done
during the program’s full maturity to determine the unforeseen or expected impacts brought
about by the program (Sturmberg & Martin, 2013).
On the other hand, monitoring involves observing and recording a program or project’s
activities regularly and as they are taking place. Information on all the project’s aspects is
gathered routinely. After assessing how the activities are progressing, feedback is given on the
progress, and decisions made for improving the performance. Basically, monitoring public health
programs aims at achieving different intention (Sturmberg & Martin, 2013). First, it promotes
accountability. Second, it verifies if funds are being used for the intended purposes. Monitoring
can also guarantee continued funding.
Similar to evaluation, monitoring should be conducted before the public health project or
program begins. This aims at assessing risks and a sit visit. There should also be monitoring after
the program has taken off and before it is completed. This should be based on compliance
supplements, funding source requirements, and risk.
Monitoring and evaluating programs are based on the fact that resources, environments,
and needs change. Hence, being always ready to meet the change challenge via continuing
feedback is a chance that evaluation offers. Both processes are for the best interests of all who
are part of the program (Publishing, 2013). They support program sustainability, which ensures
long-term resource planning. Both processes are systematic and tailored to programs or projects’
unique elements. Data is collected and conclusions drawn based on program practicality,
relevance, and utility.
For all public health professionals, evaluation and monitoring skills are cardinal to the
effective design as well as implementation of programs (Publishing, 2013). They are also

MONITORING AND EVALUATION IN PUBLIC HEALTH
necessary for using and analyzing data for advocacy of public health programs and projects.
They are extremely useful and valuable tools for people aiming at strengthening the existing
programs’ quality. The population being served also benefit in that improved outcomes are
promoted.

MONITORING AND EVALUATION IN PUBLIC HEALTH

References

Publishing, O. E. C. D. (2013). OECD Health Policy Studies: Monitoring and Improving Quality
in Long-term Care. Paris: OECD Publishing.
Sturmberg, J. P., & Martin, C. M. (2013). Handbook of systems and complexity in health. New
York: Springer.

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