203320 Improving children's vision health in Alabama: A community-academic partnership to build monitoring and evaluation capacity for long-term sustainability

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tianjing Li, Dr , Department of Epidemiology, Johsn Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Jeff Haddox, President & CEO , Sight Savers America, Pelham, AL
Lisa Maher, Director , Sight Savers America, Pelham, AL
Fannie Fonseca-Becker, DrPH , Director, J&J Community HealthCare Scholars Program, and Sr. Research Associate, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

A comprehensive and timely vision health program for young children is crucial to their educational development. With funding from the Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Program, the Sight Savers America (formerly the Sight Savers of Alabama) expands eye care services, including screening for vision problems, comprehensive follow-up and treatment, to 6th grade children in Alabama's Black Belt region. Along with this growth comes the need to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of services provided.


Through a participatory approach, the community and academic partners refined project goals, objectives, indicators, and conceptual framework. Based on the conceptual framework, the project staff created measures of program implementation and effectiveness, as well as a data management system. They collected, analyzed, and reported data for program monitoring and evaluation using EPI Info.


After two years of community-academic collaboration, the Sight Savers America has used the conceptual framework and indicators to perform program evaluation. Using the newly developed database, they assessed and disseminated its implementation and effectiveness. The project also utilized the evaluation skills in a separate setting. The ability to monitor and evaluate the program's process and effectiveness, as well as the partnership established have helped the organization to obtain additional funding, and to expand its operations to neighboring states.


Program evaluation helps this community-based program to monitor their progress and effectiveness. A participatory approach between community organizations and academic institutions can increase a program's sustainability.

Learning Objectives:
List three components for a successful community-academic partnership working to improve in-house capacity in the design and implementation of program evaluation. Describe the steps necessary to increase in-house capacity for a community children’s vision health program monitoring and evaluation. Identify two major challenges that a community based children’s vision health program face in the implementation of an evaluation plan.

Keywords: Community Health Programs, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have planned and coordinated the endeavors discussed in this abstract and presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Program scholarship

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.