Maternal health is gaining much interest all over the globe with Non-governmental institutions playing a critical role in managing and sustaining various maternal-related programs. In recent study in Nepal, it was established that maternal deaths occur in most communities, with various causes of death being attributed to diseases and disorders affecting women during their pregnancy period. Some of these diseases include postpartum hemorrhages and hypertensive disorders. In order to help such a community, an evaluation on an existing program meant to spearhead free antenatal education will be evaluated to ascertain how it is helping to alleviate the suffering of innocent mothers, by increasing the coverage on self-examination on mothers to help them recognize possible signs that may cause pregnancy-related complications. The process needs also to evaluate the effectiveness of healthcare services in the provision of healthcare services.
In healthcare terms, evaluation is the process of making a judgment on something using scientific and statistical procedures to ascertain whether it meets certain criteria (Hickey and Brosnan 5). The process also assesses whether a certain thing meets given benchmarks to ensure that the expected goals and outcomes of the project is on course as supported by donors. The evaluation process however needs to be planned in a given way with steps to be followed to conduct the activity.
Step 1 – Engaging stakeholders
This serves as a foundational step in planning for the evaluation process. It helps in identifying stakeholders of in a given program. This eases the evaluation process as the stakeholders ensure that the process progresses as needed and that clarifications during the process can be made (Blumenthal et al. 440).
Step 2 – Description of the evaluation program
The description will bring on board various interests among the stakeholders and on the other hand create a platform that encourages accountability along the process. In this stage, the purpose of the program will be outlined, together with its objectives, mission and activities to be involved during the evaluation process (Orton et al. 100).
Focusing on the actual evaluation components
This stage involves gathering data and information which will be applied during the main evaluation process. This needs to be done through developing possible sets of questions and tailoring these components with the evaluation. In addition to this, a projection on resource requirements should also be conducted out to ensure that critical elements are addressed in the main process.
Plan to gather related information
This stage involves selecting possible information to fit the main theme of carrying out the evaluation. The plan also involves drawing a timeline to guide the process, distributing roles and responsibilities to oversee the entire program evaluation process (Butterfoss 448).
Planning on how to conclude the process
This comprises all stakeholders where a procedure will be developed that will guide the data analysis. In this stage, various programs to be used in the actual data analysis will be made available to facilitate the analysis.
Communicating and disseminating the possible plans
This is a critical phase in the planning process as it brings stakeholders on one stage. It also ensures that reviews are carried on the components such as questions, objectives and resource requirements to facilitate a smooth process. Apart from this, the plan is disseminated to users/stakeholders so as to ensure that all involved parties have an overview of the program. The plan could be disseminated through email and written documents.
Evaluation research questions
- Is the maternal health program giving the desired outcomes as expected
- Did the program reduce instances of maternal deaths on the beneficiaries after a
successful completion and implementation of the project.
- Did the program increase the understanding on how to perform self examination
in order to detect potential signs of diseases during pregnancy.
- To find out whether the health program initiated in Kathmandu valley in Nepal produced the desired outcomes.
- To find out whether there was a reduction in maternal deaths after implementing the project.
- To find out whether the program was educative to help mothers detect possible signs of disease infection during their pregnancy period.
Reasons for the evaluation
The evaluation program is meant to establish the effectiveness of the program on mothers of Kathmandu valley in Nepal. It is specifically meant to ascertain the effectiveness of the child clinic towards the prevention of child mortality and morbidity, and to ascertain its effectiveness in regard to education meant for mothers to enable them perform self diagnosis for potential signs of disease. The program also aims to assess the progress of the program towards the reduction of child mortality and morbidity. In addition to the above, the evaluation program aims to unearth potential problems which affect the delivery of healthcare at the child clinic, so as to improve the services to help reduce child mortality and morbidity.
For the evaluation to be conducted, a research methodology should be used. This can be defined as a way employed to solve a research problem systematically (Kothari 8). The reason for conducting research this way is to assist the researcher to develop certain tests that will prove or dis-approve the results to be a true representation based on the evaluation research questions.
Quantitative evaluation will be used to evaluate whether the components of the program were effective in meeting the objectives of the program. This involves the use of numerical measurements to analyze a specific issue on a subject matter (Thomas 2). The evaluation methodology will evaluate programs’ effectiveness towards the reduction of deaths that were occurring in a year. In this case, a survey will be conducted to ascertain the effectiveness of the components of the program within the area. The survey will target the regions that experienced deaths before the program was launched and after the program, and also verify the effectiveness of the child health clinic in the reduction of child mortality and morbidity.
In order also to correctly identify the areas of interest, a sample will be used to spearhead the evaluation process, with this being a small section selected to help carry out a given process (Kapur and Sawena 440). The sample selected will mainly constitute the inhabitants in Kathmandu slum, to help ascertain whether the program helped reduce deaths and child mortality, and morbidity. In the samples, the data collection will be processed through a statistical method to inform stakeholders on the program’s performance, as well as to convey results to stakeholders. There are various data collection methods which will be used during the evaluation including a surveys, interviews, use of questionnaires and document reviews.
Surveys should be used given the geographical attribute of the area. This data collection method will be composed of sets of questions that evaluators and program participants will use to collect data. It will be structured in a way to contain both structured and unstructured question and response options. This will give the participant an option and enable the evaluator to accommodate both open and closed-ended questions, to allow as much as possible quantity of data to be collected.
Interviews will be used to collect data from the slum inhabitants through a one-to-one interview approach. In this case, an in-depth interview will be used to collect diverse information concerning the program, which encourages openness and courage thereby ensuring that an extensive coverage on the achievements and limitations of the program are gathered.
Questionnaires refer to a collection of sets of questions administered to participants, in that they give their responses based on the questions (Holmes et al. 55). It is a useful approach for collecting straightforward data and should specifically be used in collecting data with straightforward answers. In this instance, it will be used to gather data on deaths before and after the program was launched.
The program evaluation process should also involve a review of existing documents to help gather data related to the program. The sample documents that should be considered in this stage include minutes, reports and other surveillance data to enable evaluators to make an informed decision. The document also allows evaluators to check on the progress and to ascertain whether decisions and improvements were made based on report findings.
Once data is collected, data analysis should be conducted to give a comprehensive finding on the program’s effectiveness. The evaluator should use the descriptive approach to perform data analysis by recording the number of participants involved and how various health cases have been resolved successfully upon implanting the program. This is because the approach considers various variables in a population, which are helpful in presenting the summary of the findings (Wells 31).
To analyze the number of mothers that the program has had an impact in, the frequency distribution should be used to record the cases handled, and successes of the program. In this case, a table needs to be used to record the statistics
|Jan- March||April-Aug||Aug – Date|
|Average of successful
The frequency distribution should be used to record the average number of cases handled from the start of the year. This gives a summary of the successful cases, based on the objectives of the program, and helps summarize the data through average. To compute success in terms of cases handled, the process should use the case attributes.
Total success cases = cases solved – unsolved cases
% total success cases = cases solved – unsolved cases
The computation should give a picture on the successful cases. It should also give the number of childbirths per the 100,000 cases.
The above methodology should be used in the evaluation. This is because it evaluates the program based on certain quantifiable attributes. It is easier to record the cases involved, solved, and unsolved in numerical form which given establishes whether the program achieves its objectives. In addition to this, the methodology also uses a combination of data collection methods which helps gather in-depth data necessary to help in the computation process, and also gives statistical figures regarding the outcomes of the evaluation. On the other hand, various documents reviewed in the process helps give accountability regarding the program, and also reduces mis-presetation of data which may be hidden from the external evaluators.
The intended evaluation should have various checks to safeguard data collected from respondents and other participants. It is important to include this attribute to foster credibility and validity of data collected. In this, credibility as a concept is involved with ensuring that collected data is accurate and the findings depict the actual state (Parker 63). This ensures that the data collected gives the correct measurement on the intended attribute. The credibility aspect should be instilled through certain safeguards such as use of reliable sources and data verification.
Reliable sources of data
Data reliability is an important aspect that should be considered to maintain data credibility. This needs to be conducted by interviewing specific participants such as mothers, rather than the project stakeholders. In doing so, reliable data would be collected since there is the likelihood that other parties may forge data in favor of some stakeholders.
Data verification remains an important aspect as it helps ascertain that given data is verifiable, in that collected data by the use of certain gadgets represent the true picture of the situation, which also ensures that data is accurate and not duplicated. These safeguards ensure that data collected is credible, valid and can be used to evaluate the program to produce the correct findings.
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