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No. 4, 2010

TB Program Evaluation Network Update

2010 TB PEN Conference and Program Evaluation Focal Point Meeting

On August 9, 2010, one day before the official TB ETN and TB PEN conference, a TB program evaluation (PE) focal point meeting was held. Approximately 65 individuals who serve as the assigned points of contact for TB program evaluation within their respective agencies were in attendance. The focal point meeting provided updates on the five TB PEN Teams, TB PEN activities, the DTBE Program Evaluation Team, the role of the PE focal points, and a focal point feedback session. The focal point feedback session was an open forum for PE focal points to provide comments and suggestions to the TB PEN Steering Committee and DTBE on program evaluation and TB PEN-related issues and activities.

The joint TB ETN and TB PEN Conference opened officially on August 10 with a keynote address by Dr. Lee Reichman focusing on partnerships for TB elimination. Other plenary topics included social determinants of health, PE capacity building, and tools of the trade that enhance TB education, training, and program evaluation. Conference activities included workshops and skill-building sessions, expert consultation, and a poster session. The conference social at the end of the first day brought TB PEN and TB ETN members together for an excellent evening of networking.

Conference participants were able to attend several TB PEN workshops and skill-building sessions which combined theory with practical application and provided a variety of speakers representing both CDC and state and local TB programs.  Evaluation session topics included engaging stakeholders, fundamentals of program evaluation, using evidence-based interventions to overcome barriers and challenges, developing logic models, developing an evaluation report, and using data to guide evaluation.

The expert consultation sessions made subject matter experts available to participants to share their expertise in selected evaluation topic areas. This provided participants with an opportunity to interact one on one or in small groups with an expert in the topic area to assist them with gaining a better understanding of conducting program evaluation and effectively addressing topic specific issues. The consultation areas were: evaluation plan development, logic models, evaluation tools, the National Tuberculosis Indicators Project (NTIP), evaluation methods/design, cohort review, and writing an evaluation report.

Attendees also participated in the poster session featuring 18 posters, three of which represented TB program evaluation. One of the posters representing TB PEN was selected for oral presentation. The poster, titled: Evaluation of HIV Testing of Women with Active Tuberculosis, was presented by Cheryl Kearns during the closing plenary session.

Overall attendee evaluations indicated that the majority felt it was useful to attend the TB PEN focal point meeting, thought the focal point feedback discussion was informative, and agreed that this meeting should be included next year. The TB PEN Conference breakout sessions also achieved good ratings.  An average of 91% of attendees felt the content and learning materials addressed a need or a gap in their knowledge or skills; and 89% felt that, if given an opportunity, they can apply the knowledge gained as a result of their attendance. Overall, they felt they could describe the evaluation capacity building process needed for program monitoring and evaluation; and found the content relevant to the learning objectives.

Suggested TB PEN topics for 2011 include:

  • Designing sessions to be more workshop-based and help programs either start, edit, or complete a project with expert and non-expert assistance;
  • Providing more examples of state evaluation plans, activities, and reports; and
  • Offering more practical examples and participatory activities.

The TB PEN Conference Planning Committee convened in October 2010 and started planning for the 2011 TB ETN & TB PEN Conference.  Please contact the TB PEN Conference Planning Committee at tbpen@cdc.gov if you have further suggestions for next year’s conference.

—Reported by Brandy Peterson, MPH
Div of TB Elimination, and
Stephen E. Hughes, PhD
Jill Fournier, RN, BSN
Co-Chairs, TB PEN Steering Committee

 

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