Evaluation Guide for Public Health Practice

Aerial View of CampusDevelopment of Policy-Directed, Practical, Evidence-Based Guidance for Public Health Intervention Evaluation: Phase 1

Sheffield Contact: Steven Ariss

What are the aims of this project?

We will collect, describe, review and evaluate existing intervention evaluation guidance. This mapping exercise will provide a guide to available evaluation guidance for public health practitioners. In addition, we will gather evidence on what kind of guidance and training on evaluation would be most useful and usable for public health practitioners. A phase two project will then develop an NIHR SPHR guidance that signposts, integrates and supplements available guidance on public health intervention design and evaluation so as to meet the everyday needs of a range of public health practitioners with varying levels of expertise.

Why is this important?

Making high quality evaluation guidance and training available to public health practitioners is consistent with the NIHR SPHR goal of identifying cost-effective population health services because this goal depends on robust evaluation of service delivery and innovation. Evaluation guidance would facilitate the identification of effective, and ineffective, service delivery according to a variety of relevant criteria, including those specified in the Health Outcomes Framework. Making such guidance available could also greatly enhance the collection of evidence nationally and, thereby, help shape and enhance public health policy and practice.

 How will the research be carried out?

We will:

  1. Identify and collect available evaluation training, support, guidance and aids and  write a “Catalogue of available Public Health Evaluation Guidance”.
  2. Undertake a needs assessment of what kind of evaluation training and materials would be of most use to public health practitioners.
  3. Make recommendations for a phase two project that would fill gaps in the current provision through the development of: (i) additional material; (ii) a detailed guide to help practitioners find and use available guidance; and (iii) a training course, or courses, for public health practitioners.

Who is undertaking the research?

Charles Abraham, Sarah Denford, Frank Devocht, Rona Campbell, Rajalakshmi Lakshman , Jennie Popay, Steven Ariss, Mark Petticrew, Louise Lafortune,

How are stakeholders being engaged?

Key members of NIHR SPHR and public health practitioners have been involved in identifying materials that they consider useful. We have also held workshops with public health practitioners to establish the need for evaluation guidance and to begin to establish preferred formats and content.

What will be the outputs from the study?

The main outputs from this research will be:

  1. A catalogue and review of available public health evaluation guidance
  2. A report/ paper on public health practitioners’ views on current evaluation guidance and practice and their need for further guidance and training
  3. An evaluation report on current guidance in relation to public health practitioner needs
  4. A draft curriculum for a one-day course on evaluation in public health
  5. Recommendations for development of new NIHR SPHR public health design and evaluation guidance