Describe the difference between process and outcome measures. Discuss why these are
important to the evaluation of public health programs and interventions.
After implementing a public health program, its evaluation plays a fundamental role in the
assessment of the added value as well as the determination of the effectiveness obtained.
Subsequently, the evaluation of the program or intervention occurs in different forms and types
whose definition is based on the design and purpose. Moreover, selecting a specific evaluation
design relies on the focus on its initiative, the targeted audience, the particular health issue,
timeline, and setting. Some of the common types of evaluation used include the process and
outcome assessment designs, which significantly differ in terms of their objectives (Smith &
Ory, 2014). On the one hand, outcome evaluation focuses on the assessment of the effectiveness
of a particular program or intervention in producing the desired change. It thus optimizes the
determination of the activities carried out on the participants in the program and the change or
difference in the impact it had on them.
Conversely, process evaluation involves the provision of feedback as to whether the
program or intervention is implemented as intended, the barriers encountered, and the necessary
changes. It thus focuses on the description of the activities carried out, services rendered,
policies, and procedures applied. These factors facilitate the depiction of why the outcomes were
achieved pr not (Smith & Ory, 2014). As such, the essence of this type of evaluation in public
health programs entails helping stakeholders to identify the various ways in which an impact or
specific outcome was achieved. These are followed closely by the documentation of the
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implementation process of a particular program by highlighting the quantities and types of
services delivered, the beneficiaries, and the resources used as well as the challenges
encountered (Smith & Ory, 2014). Contrastingly, outcome evaluation is essential to the
implementation of a public health program as it significantly contributes to the assessment of the
effectiveness of producing change.
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Smith, M. L., & Ory, M. G. (2014). Measuring Success: Evaluation Article Types for the Public
Health Education and Promotion Section of Frontiers in Public Health. Frontiers in
Public Health, 2.