246149 Evaluating a community engagement intervention to improve maternal health and prevent fistula in Guinea

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 3:06 PM

Ellen Brazier, MIA , Senior Technical Advisor, Community Engagement, EngenderHealth, New York, NY
Renée K. Fiorentino, MPH , Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Program Associate, EngenderHealth, New York, NY
Moustapha Diallo , EngenderHealth Guinea, Program Manager, Conakry, Guinea
Yaya Kassé , EngenderHealth Guinea, Program Officer, Conakry, Guinea
Sita Millimono , EngenderHealth Guinea, Program Officer, Conakry, Guinea
Through a retrospective program evaluation, EngenderHealth/Fistula Care applied a conceptual framework to explore the outcomes of a community-level intervention on community capacities and assets, as well as the association between enhanced community capacities and maternal health knowledge, attitudes and care-seeking behaviors at the population level.

In intervention and matched comparison villages, semi-structured key informant interviews were held with community leaders and resource persons to explore community capacities and assets in key areas related to the intervention. A representative population-based survey was conducted among women of reproductive age and their husbands to explore maternal health knowledge, attitudes and care-seeking practices. Data from key informant interviews were used to create indices of community capacity related to maternal health. The association between high and low community capacity scores and outcome data related to women's and men's knowledge, attitudes, and care-seeking was explored through bivariate and multivariate analysis. Preliminary findings indicate that the intervention, which established and supported village committees to monitor pregnancies and promote health care-seeking, had concrete intermediary outcomes on several key domains of community capacity, and on the population level in terms of maternal health knowledge, attitudes, and care-seeking.

Interventions that enhance the capacity of community-level resource persons to explore and address health concerns in their communities can increase community leadership and attention to the issue and can result in population-level impacts on knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Evaluation findings confirm the importance of engaging community partners as direct agents of their own change — not simply audiences for behavior change messaging.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, attendees will be able to: Describe a conceptual framework for rigorous evaluation of community engagement approaches Explain how the framework was applied to evaluate a community-level intervention in Guinea Describe evaluation results and findings related to maternal health knowledge, attitudes and behaviors

Keywords: Community Involvement, Maternal Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I contributed to the evaluation design and data analysis
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.