181605 Performance measures for a multisite multiprogram obesity prevention initiative

Monday, October 27, 2008: 11:15 AM

Dana N. Hughes, MPH , Institute of Public Policy, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Jill Nicholson-Crotty, PhD , Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri - Columbia, Columbia, MO
The performance measure literature for public organizations has tracked the difficulty in developing and using various outcome indicators. In fact, the research suggests that depending on the indicator chosen, a program may not be meaningfully evaluated. It also suggests some outcomes are more difficult to measure, which may make the comparison of “success” across different types of programs challenging.

The Missouri Foundation for Health's (MFH) Healthy and Active Communities (H&AC) Initiative funded a diverse group of programs targeting obesity prevention across the state ranging from trail construction to school nutrition initiatives. Originally, grantees were allowed to establish the primary indicators of program success. Later, a team of external evaluators developed another set of performance measures for individual programs in order to facilitate a cluster analysis of the entire HA&C initiative.

The primary topics of exploration for this paper are: Did individual programs choose performance indicators that were measurable and allowed them to quantitatively assess program success. If yes, how often did those performance measures and the ones chosen by the external evaluators differ? Did that variation lead to different conclusions about the degree of program success? And finally, were conclusions about the relative success of the various H&AC programs in part a function of the ease and accuracy with which the outputs of those programs could be measured?

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this presentation the participants will be able to 1) Identify a variety of outcome measures for obesity prevention programs. 2) Discuss the importance of developing clear outcome measures when evaluating success across programs.

Keywords: Obesity, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently developing tools for evaluation and evaluating obesity prevention programs in the state of Missouri.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.