Online Program

Evaluating systems-level changes initiated by community health workers: An evaluability assessment for the Office on Women's Health Women's Health Leadership Institute

Monday, November 2, 2015

Suzanne Randolph, PhD, Center for Community Prevention and Treatment Research, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Shelly Kowalczyk, MSPH, CHES, Center for Community Prevention and Treatment Research, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Adrienne Smith, PhD, MS, CHES, Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
Kay Strawder, JD, MSW, U.S. DHHS, Region IX Office of the Regional Health Administrator, Office on Women's Heatlh, San Francisco, CA
Dwyan Monroe, CHW, MCHW, Institute for Public Health Innovation, Washington, DC
This project developed evaluation plans to assess the extent to which approximately 400 CHWs trained by the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) Women’s Health Leadership Institute (WHLI) implemented strategies for systems-level changes in public health. WHLI training resulted in CHW skills/competencies in systemic thinking, challenging processes and mastering change, shared vision and collective action, strengthening collective capacity for action, and building leadership; and Community Action Project plans to implement system-level changes.  An evaluability assessment was conducted to determine parameters for the longer-term evaluation, utilizing collaborative approaches guided by CDC’s Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health.  One co-author/co-presenter is a CHW/Master CHW Trainer, and was a member of the plan development and site visit teams. She was involved in the initial site visits and interviews with curriculum specialists, evaluators, CHWs, and master trainers; and in the conceptualization and design phases. The resulting evaluation plans are designed to measure the implementation and outcomes of systems-level public health changes initiated by WHLI-trained CHWs.  CHWs and trainers provided input on: logic models; culturally and linguistically appropriate measures and methods;  approaches for analyzing and interpreting findings;  dissemination strategies; and opportunities and challenges for the planned evaluation. Participatory approaches ensured that OWH’s, WHLI’s, CHWs’, and other stakeholders’ needs were met. Site visits and interviews resulted in perceptions of impact on communities served by WHLI-trained CHWs;  WHLI’s value relative to other CHW training initiatives; policy developments and other systems changes made by WHLI-trained CHWs; the status of partnership building; and indicators of improved health outcomes.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe how CHWs can be engaged in participatory approaches to design and plan an outcome evaluation for a public health systems-level change initiative Discuss the opportunities for and challenges of documenting outcomes of a training initiative designed to result in CHW-initiated, systems-level public health changes

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Director for the Women's Health Leadership Institute Evaluation Plan Development Project that is evaluating the outcomes of CHW training designed to result in system-level public health changes. I have also been the principal investigator or project director for multiple federally- and foundation-funded projects evaluating systems-level health initiatives using participatory methods.
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.