Health Communication Program Evaluation Plan
Objective: To come up with a Health Communication Program Evaluation Plan. Method: I used tertiary data from the recommended sources to come up with my narrative. I also referred to other published sources as listed below. Results: It’s important to constantly evaluate the Health Communication Program to ensure that the desired results are achieved from health campaigns.
Key words: Health communication, qualitative and quantitative research, efficiency, results, response, cost, attribution, purpose of evaluation, health campaigns.
Communication is very important in each and every field of society .In particular; health communication is a study that specializes in transmission of health related information ranging from health education, health campaigns to personal doctor- patient consultations1. It is therefore extremely important to ensure that this information is passed on in a smooth process especially in the sensitive health fraternity. In order to come up with an efficient communication program, it is necessary to understand the parties involved in terms of their general perception and needs. This ensures that no information is lost in the communication process.
For this project, I referred to various sources such as Google Scholar, Medline, as well as the recommended sources; Designing a Program Evaluation and stage 4 of Making Health Communication Program work. I also referred to the theories applied in health campaigns. I expanded my search on the importance of having an adequate health communication program and the impact it has on dissemination of health information to the public. In addition, I examined both the qualitative and quantitative research techniques of evaluating health communication programs.
Determining the purpose of the entire evaluation process helps in identifying the clear intention of the health communication program 2. Therefore, when devising the evaluation plan, it is important to understand the various activities in the program including its strategies and processes. Furthermore, obtaining knowledge on the contributions that the program has garnered in the long-term goes a long way into assessing the relevance of the entire program.
A quantitative evaluation process is an approach that can be applied by administering an identical set of questions to the audience 2. The answers should be presented in a numerical form with a sample audience being questioned so as to save on time and resources. On the other hand, qualitative evaluation technique compliments qualitative research. It helps to identify in detail why some goals were not realized 2. These two approaches can be used hand in hand to achieve detailed information on the performance of the health communication program being evaluated.
In order to draft an evaluation plan, it’s important to come up with relevant evaluation questions that will help to identify the flaws in the current communication program. These questions provide both qualitative and quantitative feedback. Taking a critical look at health campaigns, it is important to ask questions such as; what is the health problem being addressed? What are the results received versus the expected results? Who is affected by this problem? How can communication address this problem? Who is being addressed to solve the problem? Which communication approach can be applied? How many people are being targeted? 2
Answering these evaluation questions helps in evaluating the functioning of the program. Evaluation should involve analyzing the whole program right from the start. This helps to improve the health campaign program after understanding what exactly is failing and the reason why. Additionally, it goes a long way into improving the methods applied in disseminating the information. Outcome evaluation is an approach that evaluates a number of results that the program aims at addressing. These results can be short-term or long-term progress that is evident in changes in societal attitudes and behaviors 3.
It’s important to evaluate if the goals set for the campaign have been met. This can be done by interviewing various stakeholders and obtaining feedback pertaining to the reception of the information by the audience 2. It’s also important to evaluate if the message for the campaign was properly drafted in a way that the audience would easily understand. An efficient health campaign should be cost effective which can be analyzed by carrying out a cost-benefit analysis 4. Additionally, it’s necessary to evaluate if campaign plan was implemented effectively by seeking feedback from the media on whether the campaign has been running smoothly 3.
1.Evans, W. Doughlas. How social marketing works in health care. British Medical Journal.2006;322.7551:1207-1210. doi: 10. 1136/ bmj. 332.7551. 1207-a
2.National Cancer Institute (U. S). Making Health Communications Programs Work: A Planner’s Guide, Pink Book. Washington, D.C: The Institute. 2006
3.Rimal, R. Why Health Communication is important in public health: Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2009; 87 (4): 247
4. Schiavo, Renata. Health Communication from theory to practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 2007