224795 A social network process evaluation methodology for African HIV/AIDS programs

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mariano Kanamori, MA , PhD Candidate. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics., University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Nolawi Eshetu, MSc , Salessian Mission, New Rochelle, NY
Jaime Correa , Salesian Missions, New Rochelle, NY
Background. This study illustrates and provides information on a comprehensive and science-based process evaluation methodology based on the social network theory. This work is part of the Caring for our youth project that aims to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopian children.

Methods. First, existing process evaluation models applied to HIV/AIDS African programs were reviewed. Second, an expert panel developed a mixed methods process evaluation model. Online instruments included several network dimentions: ties among defined persons and institutions; strength of these ties; informational, emotional, instrumental and appraisal social support exchanged through these ties; program capacity; planning; administration; quality of work, and timeliness. Third, instruments were pre-tested for content and feasibility analysis. Fourth, program directors, managers, staff members, and implementing partners answered online surveys (n=13; response rate=85%). Fifth, in-depth personal interviews (n= 9) and one focus group (7 participants) in the field assessed the internal validity of the instruments and provided additional information. Sixth, field trip reports, financial and other data were analyzed to support a triangulated critical analysis. Seventh, diagrams and matrices illustrating the network configuration and effectiveness and the shared social support were developed.

Conclusions. This work demonstrates how a social network theory approach provides a more thorough process evaluation as compared to other published more traditional theoretical approaches. This is one of the first studies that tested a mixed methods process evaluation design including online surveys that adapted the social network theory.

Future Directions: Future studies will refine the methodology and assess reliability and predictive validity.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how to use social network theory for process evaluation.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have designed and implemented program evaluation at the international and national levels in programs related to HIV/AIDS, nutrition, family planning, among others.
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.