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close this bookEducation for Health (WHO, 1988, 274 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderAcknowledgements
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View the documentA message from the Director-General of the World Health Organization'
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe concept of primary health care
close this folderChapter 1: Health behavior and health education
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View the documentHealth, illness, and behavior
View the documentUnderstanding behavior
View the documentChanges in behavior
View the documentHelping people to lead healthier lives
View the documentThe role of health education
View the documentWho is a health educator?
close this folderChapter 2: People working with people
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View the documentEstablishing good relationships
View the documentCommunicating clearly
View the documentEncouraging participation
View the documentAvoiding prejudice and bias
close this folderChapter 3: Planning for health education in primary health care
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View the documentCollecting information
View the documentUnderstanding problems
View the documentDeciding on priorities, objectives, and action
View the documentIdentifying and obtaining resources
View the documentEncouraging action and follow-through
View the documentSelecting appropriate methods
View the documentEvaluating results
View the documentReviewing the process of planning
close this folderChapter 4: Health education with individuals
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View the documentThe purpose of counselling
View the documentRules for counselling
View the documentDifferent types of counselling
View the documentFacilitating decisions and follow-through
View the documentA sample counselling session
View the documentMore practice in counselling
close this folderChapter 5: Health education with groups
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View the documentWhat is a group?
View the documentFormal groups and informal gatherings
View the documentBehavior in formal groups
View the documentThe value of group education
View the documentEducation with informal gatherings
View the documentEducation with formal groups
View the documentDiscussion groups
View the documentSelf-help groups
View the documentThe school classroom
View the documentHealth education at the work-site
View the documentDemonstrations
View the documentCase studies
View the documentRole-playing
View the documentA group training session
View the documentThe health team
View the documentMeetings
close this folderChapter 6: Health education with communities
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View the documentWhat is a community?
View the documentWhen is community health education needed?
View the documentGetting opinion leaders involved
View the documentThe role of local organizations
View the documentThe community health committee
View the documentAdvisory and planning boards
View the documentIntersectoral coordination groups
View the documentOrganizing a health campaign
View the documentSpecial community events
View the documentMobilizing community resources for a project
View the documentDeveloping a partnership with people
View the documentThe role of the community health worker
close this folderChapter 7: Communicating the health message: methods and media
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View the documentCommunicating the health message
View the documentMethods and media
View the documentSummary
View the documentReading List

Evaluating results

If you have given time and effort to a project, you will want to know if it has been successful. In judging success, it is not enough simply to say 'we were very successful', or 'we had some success', or 'we failed'. If possible, a specific measure of the amount of success is needed.

Checking on the progress made

Observation, interviews, and records will supply information for evaluating a programme.


It is important to select the method (or methods) most appropriate (or the group concerned. It is also important to use a mixture of methods that will help people to understand better and to remember.

To take an example: it has been planned that the funds for the water supply project will be raised by the 12th week. If not enough money has been collected by that time, then something is wrong. The planning group must start to check and find the cause. Maybe the neighborhood leaders were not adequately informed about how to organize fund-raising. Maybe it was a bad time of year for people to donate money because the harvest was not yet in.

If the plans were to dig four wells within six months, but only one is under way by the 17th or 18th week, then the group should immediately try to find out why. Maybe more materials are needed than originally planned. Maybe some of the labourers misunderstood their instructions.

Problems should be corrected as soon as they are seen.

Final results

By the end of the educational activities, you should be able to measure their success by counting how many people are behaving according to the original objectives: is this number more than before the programme started?

Use observation to check results. With community wells, for instance: is there evidence that they are maintained hygienically? Are people keeping them covered? Are they using clean buckets for gathering water? Are they storing the water in clean, covered containers at home? Are people still going to the stream to fetch water?

If people are using the wells hygienically and storing water safely at home, the educational objectives of the programme have been achieved.

As for the health objectives, there should be a decrease in the amount of waterborne disease. Depending on the type of disease, it may take several months for this to show. If a reduction in illness does not occur, test the well-water and look for other sources of contamination. If, in fact, waterborne disease is decreasing, then the programme has been successful.

Learning from evaluation

At the end of the programme, a final meeting can be held to discuss how far the programme has succeeded. Two main questions must be answered:

1. Did the action go as well as planned?

- Did people participate?
- Were resources available on time?
- Did people gain new skills and learn from the programme?

2. Was the problem eliminated or reduced? Using the example of schistosomiasis:

- Do people now have access to safe water supplies?
- Are people disposing of faeces and urine in a safe manner?
- Are fewer people suffering from the disease now than before the programme started?

Discussing such questions will help people evaluate and learn from their programmes. We can obtain the answers to these questions in the way in which we originally gathered information about the community when we started planning through observation, interview, and records. Compare information gathered before the programme started with information collected after it ended.

Even if the programme did not turn out as desired, a meeting should still be held to find out why. A review of the timetable will help show if every person carried out his or her duties.

Questions such as these might help:

Were there any unreported difficulties earlier in the programme? Did other community events disturb or distract people from participating in the action? Were there any disagreements among community members that stopped them working together? Was the time set for the programme unrealistic? Were the activities chosen inappropriate to the local culture?

Once sources of difficulty have been found, the group can decide if it wants to try again. Learning can come from mistakes as well as from successes. It is a hopeful sign if people can sit down maturely and work out the cause of a problem. At such times, a health worker can provide much-needed support and encouragement. With new knowledge about the problem, the group will know how to plan a better programme in the future.