Monitoring and Evaluation guide for health information

29 May 2012

USAID published a Monitoring and Evaluation guide for health information products and services in 2007. It sets to describe what and how to evaluate health information products and services through a framework that clearly separates inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes. It seeks to measure their reach, usefulness, use, and collaboration and capacity building attributes, by quantitative, as well as qualitative methods.

This guide focuses on assessing how effective is the way in which information reaches out, by the largest number of possible means, and how it satisfies its users. The guidelines present a range of indicators and offers advice on how each should be measured, clearly outlining their definition, data requirement, data sources, purposes and issues, with examples given at the end of each indicator.

According to Lisa Gosling, the objectives of monitoring and evaluation are ensuring quality, accountability and learning for the benefit of good management. The guide has lists of “dos and don’ts” which encourage the user to be simple, clear and effective, while avoiding the confusion which often accompanies complex reporting.

M&E is seen as an approach to developing a working routine that can be easily traced and managed, thus letting internal (collaborators, directors and members of the organisation), as well as external users (partners, funders or supervising entities) to remain informed about relevant processes and activities.

Significantly, such as in the case of the research based evidence advocacy guide by Young and Quinn, this one also outlines theories of behaviour change and communication. Behaviour change, according to Fishbein et al., implies eight conditions, seen through variables observable on the person who displays a particular behaviour:

  • Intention,
  • Skills,
  • Environmental constrains (direct causes),
  • Attitude,
  • Norms,
  • Self-image,
  • emotion, and
  • Self-efficacy,
The latter two are expected to influence behavioural intentions.