Impact Evaluation of Health Interventions in Developing Countries
Posted: 25 Jun 2007
Date Written: June 2007
In recent years an important term, 'the evaluation gap', coined by the Center for Global Development (CGD) has come into play in policy debates around how to improve the wellbeing of many of the poor in developing countries. As explained in a policy document sponsored by CGD (Savedoff, Levine and Birdsall, 2006) this term refers to the fact that much of development programs are implemented at a large scale without much systematic examination of what it is that these programs can achieve in terms of wellbeing. Impact analyses in health in most circumstances have been limited to clinical studies or field trials of vaccine effectiveness. Few studies have examined at a field level how complex health interventions, design to affect social and behavioural elements, impacted the targeted groups or the bystanders.
As expected, the few studies that have taken place have evaluated: (1) health interventions that are solely designed to have health impact (2) health interventions that have impact on health as well as some other social wellbeing (3) social interventions that are aimed at overall wellbeing that could affect health. What have these evaluation studies contributed toward understanding the problems of implementation of effective health policies in developing countries? The presenters will offer a critical review of what the stage is now for evaluation of health projects in complex settings. Both non-experimental and experimental approach to evaluation will be examined. It will be noted that experimental approaches have not been free of non-experimental approaches and may be susceptible to some of the same problems non-experimental methods encounter. The issue of scaling up issues are central when programs have been evaluated as experiments. Presenters will discuss as to what do the methodologies used imply for implementing a particular program into the near and medium run future?
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation