Research and Evaluation in International Health 600
Briefly outline the steps you would take in planning the proposed evaluation
For the TBA outreach program’s success to be assured, fortnightly coordination and re-supply meetings have to be conducted with the aim of sharing information, problem solving and rotations through the PHCC maternity unit. Planning for the evaluation of this component encompasses diverse steps. The first step of the evaluation encompasses laying down the context and background of the component to be evaluated (Bale et al, 2003). This enhances the understanding of what is to be evaluated by the people to be involved in the evaluation process. The second step involves establishing the evaluation’s objectives, such that the full course of the evaluation will be inline with meeting the set objectives.
The third step spans over design and methods to employed in collecting the necessary data for the evaluation process. This includes such factors as sampling, data collection, data analysis and significance testing. The fourth step encompasses the selection of the setting in which the evaluation is to take place (Rowen et al, 2009). The fifth step involves the selection of the number of participants to be utilized in the evaluation process, in which 56 participants will be utilized. The sixth step encompasses inferring the results and findings of the evaluation process. The seventh step spans over a discussion of the results arrived at during the evaluation process. The final step involves establishing key conclusions from the evaluation process as well as compounding the arising recommendations from the evaluation.
Define an evaluation research question of your choice and clearly state the Objectives and reason(s) for your evaluation
The research question to be concentrated on by the evaluation process is, whether the fortnightly coordination and re-supply meetings held in the are effective in ensuring sharing information, problem solving and rotations through the PHCC maternity unit. The objective for the evaluation process is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the fortnightly coordination and re-supply meetings held in the Angolan TBA program in assuring the realization of the aim of sharing information, problem solving and rotations through the PHCC maternity unit. Different reasons are provided for this objective (Kalu, 2003). The first reason for the evaluation encompasses the fact that re-supply requires convenience, cost saving and speed. This can only be acquired through the conduction of meetings in which different people share information on the facilitation of a fast re-supply system that enhances the reduction of mortality and morbidity rate.
Essentially the effectiveness of the re-supply meetings has to be evaluated to find out why the TBA program is still not realizing the set objectives (Van, 2004). The second reason for the evaluation is to ensure that the coordination meetings provide a basis for the sharing of vital information between the various people involved in the TBA program, such that the right decisions are arrived at, when enhancing faster problem solving. The third reason encompasses the realization of whether the coordination and resupply meetings are providing the right platform for rotating the staff in the PHCC maternity unit.
This works towards acquiring vital information on whether the TBA trainings that were carried out initially, equipped each staff member with the required expertise for working in any faction of the maternity unit (Wickham, 2003). The fourth reason involves the fact that set objectives of the TBA program have to be met following its inception, such that most women who were unable to fully utilize the services provided by the PHCC maternity unit can access the required services. This requires a comprehensive evaluation of the fortnightly coordination and re-supplies meetings that have been carried out for the past two years, as they should form the basis for attaining the set objectives for the whole TBA program.
Discuss the most appropriate evaluation research methodology (including sampling, data collection methods and analysis) you would employ to investigate this question
The most appropriate research methodology to be utilized in the evaluation process includes such steps as recruitment, informed consent, sampling, data collection and data analysis. The evaluation process will encompass attending four, coordination and re-supply meetings for introducing the evaluation idea to the TBA program staff (Bale et al, 2003). This will aid in the selection of the appropriate participants to be used in the sampling process. The recruitment process will encompass those participants well known to the administration of the PHCC maternity unit such that, the evaluation team can visit the respective areas designated to them. After the recruitment process, the evaluation team will obtain informed consent from the TBA staff recruited for the evaluation process.
The participants will be provided with the option of not taking part in the evaluation process. Data collection will involve the drafting of a background questionnaire in English and then it is translated into the local language used in the village. The questions in the questionnaire will encompass what is discussed in the meetings, the type of information shared in the meetings, the types of problems that come up everyday in their line of duty, the most effective methods of problem solving, and the advantages of hospital vs. home births (Rowen et al, 2009). The questions provided are to be semi structured such that different answers will be provided for the TBAs to chose and another section for free-text response will also be provided.
During the meetings, the evaluation personnel will act as observers and will have minimal participation for the correct documenting of the essential information acquired. Most of the meetings are conducted using the local language hence the observers will be allowed to take photos and will be accorded with a clear translation of the information passed during the meetings by the evaluation personnel who have a clear command of the local language (Kalu, 2003). A clear description of the participants, materials, activities, vital information and methods employed will be comprehensively documented. Data analysis will be conducted using Stata Version 9 with the aim of measuring the viability of the answers provided by the questionnaires. The responses will be labeled 1 or 0 and the final results tabled for convenience arrival on the results.
Outline your justification for the methodology chosen
This methodology is flexible and includes the contribution of the TBAs who have high and low literacy levels. This methodology encompasses attending four meetings by the evaluation personnel. This provides a basis for the clear observation of what the meetings entail and the effectiveness of the events carried out in the meetings (Van, 2004). The observers can manage to take the needed photographs for creating a clear presentation of the evaluation data in terms of PowerPoint presentation when needed by the NGO in charge of the TBA program. Recruitment of participants from the meeting is essential, as they will provide the right type of information required owing to their constant participation during the stipulated meetings.
Acquisition for informed consent from the participants is fundamental for the success of the evaluation process. This is because involving participants who are not willing to provide any information for the enhancement of proper results will lead to a misuse of resources as well as acquisition of the wrong type of information (Wickham, 2003). Sampling enables the evaluation personnel to come by the right number of participants who can aid in the evaluation process as involving the whole population might be deemed very expensive on the part of the evaluation committee.
The method utilized in data collection is viable for extracting information from the different types of TBAs because those with low levels of literacy will be accorded an interviewer who can help them in filling up the questionnaires.
The semi-structure of the questionnaires accords the participants with the option of answering the questions through the answers provide or providing their own answers. At the same time, the participants can provide more than one of the answers provided in the questionnaires to increase the credibility of the information provided. Providing the questionnaires in both English and local language reduces the need for interpretation which requires a high number of interviewers (Bale et al, 2003). This works towards the reduction of costs in the course of the evaluation process. The method utilized for data analysis is effective especially in realizing accurate results. This will help in acquiring the appropriate data required for making the right type of recommendations after the evaluation process has been completed. The above factors justify the viability of the research methodology selected for the evaluation process.
Describe two safeguards you would take to maximize the credibility or validity and reliability of data collected
The two main limitations of the evaluation process encompass the variability of the information provided by the questionnaires and the size of the sample. Variability of information provided by the questionnaires is because the participants decipher different meaning in accordance to the information provided by the meetings (Rowen et al, 2009). This warrants for the stipulation of a clear, effective and concise safeguard that will work towards the leveling of variability in the answers provided. For this reason, the evaluation personnel should ensure that they attend more meetings that will aid in realizing where the variability in the answers comes from.
Essentially the participants should be subjected to another survey that includes the same questionnaires but this time they are recommended to provide answers based on the options provided. This will enable the evaluation team to review the same types of answers rather than rely on the verbal answers provided by the participants (Van, 2004). In terms of the sample size, the evaluation team should also conduct another survey involving different participants to acquire different results.
Bale, J. R., Stoll, B. J., & Lucas, A. O. (2003). Improving Birth Outcomes: Meeting the Challenge in the Developing World. Washington, DC: National academies press.
Kalu, K. A. (2003). Agenda Setting and Public Policy in Africa. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
Rowen, T., Prata, N. & Passano, P. (2009). Evaluation of a Traditional Birth Attendant Training Programme in Bangladesh. Midwifery, 4 (2), 1-8.
Van, T. E. R. (2004). Midwifery and the Medicalization of Childbirth: Comparative Perspectives. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Wickham, S. (2003). Midwifery: Best Practice. Edinburgh, BE: Books for Midwives.