Online Program

Sustainable interventions to strengthen an integrated health system: Evaluation of best practices in Azerbaijan

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Annette Bongiovanni, MPA, BS in Nursing, International Business & Technical Consultants, Inc. (IBTCI), Vienna, VA
Rachel Jean-Baptiste, PhD, MPH, Health Practice, IBTCI, Vienna, VA
Purpose-A mid-term evaluation of the USAID-funded Azerbaijan Strengthening Heath Systems through Integrated Programs (AZ SHIP) project was conducted to determine its effectiveness and timeliness in achieving its strategic and technical approaches; and gauge the willingness and ability of the Ministry of Health (MOH) to sustain activities. Data- The evaluation achieved these objectives: 1) assessed project success in terms of its technical objectives and implementation strategy; 2) validated the quality of the project's monitoring systems, and assessed whether it achieved objectives on time; 3) examined stakeholders' perceptions, including their willingness to support interventions after the project's end. Methods- Data were collected from a sample of stakeholders in Baku and the seven implementation districts. The evaluators applied a mixed-methods approach to solicit and triangulate information from a variety of data sources. These methods included: a document review, key informant interviews, site observation visits, and focus group discussions. Results- The project strengthened government capacity through supporting knowledge transfer and the institutionalization of best practices. The evaluators developed an innovative framework to assess the sustainability of capacity building efforts. The analysis enabled USAID to make an informed transition of its reform efforts to appropriate MOH bodies. Recommendations- Examples of best practices include: 1) Sustainability Plans should indicate the key objectives and expected results for transitioned interventions; 2) Meet with district level government actors and committees to plan resource allocations and mobilization activities that within their purview; 3) Develop a user-friendly analytical tool for District Monitoring Teams to independently generate aggregated results for district-wide decision-making.

Learning Areas:

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

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the sustainability framework the evaluators used to conduct their evaluation. Describe best practices for health systems strengthening in a middle-income country. Describe best practices for ensuring the sustainability of health systems strengthening interventions.

Keyword(s): Sustainability, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I hold a PhD in epidemiology and biostatistics, and have been doing health evaluations and operations research for the past 18 years in a number of topics including the current topic of health systems strengthening and integrated health service delivery.
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.