Planning and evaluation

Parker, Elizabeth A. (2009) Planning and evaluation. In Fleming, Mary L. & Parker, Elizabeth A. (Eds.) Introduction to Public Health. Elsevier Australia, Sydney, pp. 192-211.

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Introduction: The core business of public health is to protect and promote health in the population. Public health planning is the means to maximise these aspirations. Health professionals develop plans to address contemporary health priorities as the evidence about changing patterns of mortality and morbidity is presented. Officials are also alert to international trends in patterns of disease that have the potential to affect the health of Australians. Integrated planning and preparation is currently underway involving all emergency health services, hospitals and population health units to ensure Australia's quick and efficient response to any major infectious disease outbreak, such as avian influenza (bird flu). Public health planning for the preparations for the Sydney Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2000 took almost

three years. ‘Its major components included increased surveillance of communicable disease; presentations to sentinel emergency departments; medical encounters at Olympic venues; cruise ship surveillance; environmental and food safety inspections; bioterrorism surveillance and global epidemic intelligence’ (Jorm et al 2003, 102). In other words, the public health plan was developed to ensure food safety, hospital capacity, safe crowd control, protection against infectious diseases, and an integrated emergency and disaster plan. We have national and state plans for vaccinating children against infectious diseases in childhood; plans to promote dental health for children in schools; and screening programs for cervical, breast and prostate cancer. An effective public health response to a change in the distribution of morbidity and mortality requires planning. All levels of government plan for the public’s health. Local governments (councils) ensure healthy local environments to protect the public’s health. They plan parks for recreation, construct traffic-calming devices near schools to prevent childhood accidents, build shade structures and walking paths, and even embed drafts/chess squares in tables for people to sit and play. Environmental Health officers ensure food safety in restaurants and measure water quality. These public health measures attempt to promote the quality of life of residents. Australian and state governments produce plans that protect and promote health through various policy and program initiatives and innovations. To be effective, program plans need to be evaluated. However, building an integrated evaluation plan into a program plan is often forgotten, as planning and evaluation are seen as two distinct entities. Consequently, it is virtually impossible to measure, with any confidence, the extent to which a program has achieved its goals and objectives.

This chapter introduces you to the concepts of public health program planning and evaluation. Case studies and reflection questions are presented to illustrate key points. As various authors use different terminology to describe the same concepts/actions of planning and evaluation, the glossary at the back of this book will help you to clarify the terms used in this chapter.

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ID Code: 31920
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Health Planning and Evaluation, Health Promotion, Public Health
ISBN: 9780729538909
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Primary Health Care (111717)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Elsevier Australia
Deposited On: 22 Apr 2010 22:58
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2015 14:13

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