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Webinar: Selection on Observables

Selection on Observables-large

The USAID-funded MEASURE Evaluation project is hosting a series of webinar discussions of the popular MEASURE Evaluation manual, How Do We Know If a Program Made a Difference? A Guide to Statistical Methods for Program Impact Evaluation (Lance P, Guilkey D, Hattori A, Angeles G, 2014). Each webinar in the series reviews key topics from a chapter through verbal discussion and graphical presentation. The webinar series will enable participants to understand the resources offered in the manual—a learning tool for use of methods to estimate program impact. The series also provides stand-alone training tools for the topics covered.  MEASURE Evaluation’s goal with these webinars is to provide a highly interactive learning opportunity to participants (please ask questions!).

The third webinar in the series, “Selection on Observables,” will take place September 13 at 10am EDT and again on September 15 at the same time. Please plan to join both one-hour sessions. This webinar will consider impact evaluation estimation methods based on an identification strategy that assumes we can observe all factors that influence both program participation and the outcome of interest. This two-part webinar will, roughly, examine the two most popular selection on observables estimation strategies: regression, and matching and related methods (e.g, propensity score-based weighting methods).

The first webinar in the series, held March 31, was entitled “Fundamentals of Program Impact Evaluation.” It addressed the basic challenges of program impact estimation. It can now be viewed online. The second webinar, held on June 29 and entitled “Randomization and Its Discontents,” considered program impact estimation based on randomization of program participation status (typically though a randomized controlled trial). It too can now be viewed online. Subsequent webinars will cover the major remaining quasi-experimental impact estimation techniques: within estimation (such as difference-in-differences) and instrumental variables methods.

Register to attend.

Manual of Standards and Procedures for Management of Burundi’s Health Information Management System (French)

Manuel des normes et procédures de gestion du Système national d’information sanitaireManuel des normes et procédures de gestion du Système national d’information sanitaire, the manual of standards and procedures for management of Burundi’s health information management system (HMIS) documents and defines standards and functions for the HMIS, in line with Burundi’s National Health Information System Strategic Plan for 2011–2015.

The manual described the standards, procedures, and functions of each level of the health system to support efficient operation of the HMIS. The standards and procedures include health data collection, information flow, and data management at all levels. The manual also provides definitions of key indicators, a data dictionary, and data analysis techniques.

Three main chapters complement each other: (1) The first describes the HMIS framework and provides definitions of all indicators that can be generated by the system; (2) The second highlights data analysis procedures demonstrating different methods for causal analysis, processes for monitoring indicators, and feedback mechanisms; (3) The third presents a metadata dictionary for how data are generated and organized in the health information software (GESIS).

The manual resulted from a collaboration among implementing partners and Burundi’s Ministry of Public Health and AIDS Control to strengthen the national health information system. Key partners included the PAISS project of the Belgium Technical Cooperation (CBT) project, and MEASURE Evaluation, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In collaboration with the Directorate of the National Health Information System (Direction du Système National d’Information Sanitaire, or DSNIS), PAISS and MEASURE Evaluation drafted the manual, which was reviewed during workshops by a technical working group and later validated by a steering committee formed by the Ministry of Public Health and AIDS Control. MEASURE Evaluation also supported publication and dissemination of the manual.

The manual is available in French.

Reading: Navigating Complexity in International Development

This is the cover to the book 'Navigating Complexity in International Development: Facilitating sustainable change at scale.Navigating Complexity in International Development: Facilitating sustainable change at scale
Burns, Danny and Stuart Worsley. Warwickshire, UK: Practical Action, 2016.

International development interventions often fail because development experts assume that our world is linear and straightforward when in reality it is complex, highly dynamic and unpredictable. Burns and Worsley assert that development processes need to engage effectively with these sorts of complex system dynamics and then provide a conceptual framework for this thinking. Detailed case studies of interventions that have been built on this philosophy are included.

Monitoring & Evaluation in Family Planning: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Future Directions

Monitoring & Evaluation in Family Planning: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Future DirectionsLong-term investment and prioritization of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in family planning (FP) programs has resulted in well-established and available validated indicators, measureable outcomes, and improved program performance. For the most part, projects and programs have the tools and materials available to satisfactorily implement M&E strategies. Nonetheless, many gaps and weaknesses in M&E still need to be addressed.

This paper offers recommendations to improve the practice of M&E in FP programs based on an assessment of past and current M&E effort. We also identify future needs, areas of application, and tensions that will need to be addressed as the field advances. The information used for the analysis came from document reviews, a field survey of FP M&E professionals, and interviews with experts in the field of FP M&E.

Access the paper.


University of Pretoria: Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Programmes

The Programme in the Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Programmes, presented by the School of Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria, aims to improve health programme planning, service delivery and performance by introducing you to the fundamentals in monitoring and evaluation of health programmes, the improvement and institutionalisation of the collection of health-related data and the analysis and use of programme information for decision making.

The programme provides you with hands-on training to equip you with methods and tools for the development of monitoring and evaluation programmes for population, health and nutrition interventions, such as HIV and AIDS, STDs, TB, maternal health, family planning, child health and reproductive health.

The programme will take place 15 August to 2 September 2016. Learn more.

Six Essential Functions of a High-Performing Health Information System

Six Essential Functions of a High-Performing Health Information SystemTo achieve the greatest health, public health practitioners and policy makers must be able to use data to perform these six essential functions:

  1. Monitor trends in health outcomes and services
  2. Ensure that data are trustworthy
  3. Make decisions quickly and efficiently
  4. Identify what works
  5. Ensure the coordination and equity of health services
  6. Manage resources for the greatest benefit

Access the full resource.

Assessing Trafficking in Persons and Health


Photo by Wayne Hoover, MEASURE Evaluation

CHAPEL HILL, NC—An estimated 21 million people, including 5.5 million children, are victims of human trafficking (UNICEF). Trafficking in persons (TIP) is a human rights violation with serious public health consequences. Unfortunately, assessing TIP and its health sequelae rigorously and reliably is challenging due to TIP’s clandestine nature, variation in definitions of TIP, and the need to use research methods that ensure studies are ethical and feasible.

On World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, MEASURE Evaluation announces the publication of a systematic literature review of 70 peer-reviewed, published articles to help guide practice, policy, and research to assess TIP and health. The review, published in Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, helps (a) identify TIP and health research methods being used, (b) determine what we can learn about TIP and health from these varied methodologies, and (c) determine the gaps that exist in health-focused TIP research.

Results revealed that there are various quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods being used to investigate TIP and health. Furthermore, findings show that the limitations of current methodologies affect what is known about TIP and health. In particular, varying definitions, participant recruitment strategies, ethical standards, and outcome measures all affect what is known about TIP and health.

Findings also demonstrate an urgent need for representative and nonpurposive recruitment strategies in future investigations of TIP and health as well as research on risk and protective factors related to TIP and health, intervention effectiveness, long-term health outcomes, and research on trafficked people beyond women trafficked for sex. The article offers recommendations for research, policy, and practice based on review results.

Access Trafficking and Health: A Systematic Review of Research Methods.


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