The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4142.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 12:54 PM

Abstract #42035

Evaluation practice: A comprehensive, value-based approach to public health

Elizabeth DePoy, PhD, Center for Community Inclusion and School of Social Work, University of Maine, 5717 Corbett Hall, Orono, ME 04469 and Stephen French Gilson, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Maine, 5770 Annex C, Orono, ME 04469, 207-581-2409,

As health disparities and differential needs of diverse international populations are increasingly identified, it is critical to empirically inform public health interventions and examine their efficacy, while also recognizing the influence of political and resource issues on how problems are defined and addressed. In this session, we present and illustrate a comprehensive model of evaluation inquiry, termed evaluation practice, that expands beyond traditional evaluation strategies to provide the empirical "power" to guide thinking and action about public health programs and interventions. The model is based on the following heuristics: 1. all evaluation is value based; 2. evaluation is political; 3. evaluation may have multiple and competing audiences; 4. evaluation may have multiple and competing purposes; 5. evaluation (should be) the purposive application of rigorous inquiry-based thinking and action to examination of practice need, process and outcome. In this presentation, we examine the three elements of the model, examine the role of purpose in shaping the methodological approach, and demonstrate how multiple methods of inquiry are purposively used throughout the evaluation practice sequence. We then illustrate the use of the model in diverse contexts, scrutinize how this model can be applied to defining and resolving health disparities and highlight how the model can be used to empirically communicate among different cultural groups.

Learning Objectives:

  • Objectives

    Keywords: Evidence Based Practice, Evaluation

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Monitoring and Evaluation

    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA