251602 Evaluating Faith Based OVC Programming in Zambia

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:30 AM

Nancy Scott, MPH , Center for Global Health and Development, Boston University, Boston, MA
Background: Despite clear PEPFAR Track I financial and political commitments to OVC programming, constraints inherent in an emergency response limited the ability to rigorously evaluate programmatic impact. This paper provides finding from an ongoing evaluation of the Faith-based Regional Initiative for OVC (FABRIC) program in Zambia.

Methodology: This quasi-experimental, longitudinal study is assessing OVC wellbeing of a random sample of program participants and community comparisons matched on gender and age-range in three randomly selected project sites. Surveys were administered to 396 households at project closure in March 2010, and again in January 2011, and May 2011.

Results: At project completion we saw no significant differences between the samples in psychosocial or physical wellbeing collectively. When stratified by age and gender, significantly more school-aged females in FABRIC (100%) were enrolled in school compared to the community sample (89%, p=0.05). Fewer guardians of girls 5-11 in FABRIC (69%) than the community (87%) reported average or above average school performance (p=0.05). We saw widespread vulnerability across both groups; only 50% had normal emotional symptoms, and over 55% slept in a place that gets wet in the rain. Data collection for subsequent rounds is ongoing.

Conclusion: Current USAID Evaluation Policy reflects a continuing commitment to understanding impact and improving investments through more rigorous evaluation. Findings from this study support that policy, and provide the first longitudinal cohort data on OVC in Zambia. Findings begin to fill the gap in knowledge and provide a foundation on which to build more informed implementation and evaluation practices.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the results of a longitudinal study into faith-based care of OVC in Zambia

Keywords: Evaluation, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the Principal Investigator for this resarch
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.