Program Evaluation

Updated September 9, 2020

Improving TB Prevention and Control Through Program Evaluation

Public health programs can use program evaluation to improve TB prevention and control activities. Explore the following links to learn more about program evaluation resources.

DTBE Data Sources

State and local TB programs can monitor their performance in achieving national TB program objectives and targets, track their contact investigation activities, and assess their performance in relation to other TB programs by using available data sources developed by CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE).

Other Data Sources for TB Programs

Frequently Asked Questions About Program Evaluation

A common misconception is that evaluation is something you do after program activities have been implemented and completed. Ideally, evaluation should be included in the planning phase and continued throughout the entire course of the program. Although eliminating TB is the long-term goal of your program, reaching that goal means evaluating your efforts and using that information to continuously improve program performance and practice. Even if you are still in the program planning process, you can evaluate who is involved and why. By conducting evaluation activities early in the program planning process, you are laying the groundwork for better strategic planning, data accuracy, and stronger collaboration with partners, and paving the way to confidently verify how your program has contributed to intended outcomes.

Evaluations can be as different as the programs being evaluated. Program leadership and staff decide how complex an evaluation needs to be. Starting small is often a good idea, and you probably already have valuable information you can use in your evaluation.

Program evaluation often needs to include many types of partnerships and collaborations. The good news is that everyone won’t need to commit the same amount of time and energy to the process. Often a small team, one that is consistently and intensively involved and engaged in the evaluation process, can be an effective way to keep the process manageable.

Good program evaluation shows how well you are using your resources. Are the activities working? If so, wonderful! Now you know for sure. Do they need to be modified? Have you been duplicating efforts without realizing it? Are your activities ineffective? This is also great information to have so that you use your financial resources most efficiently or you can identify where to make improvements. Program evaluation not only reveals how effectively you are using your resources, it can be a way to showcase your successful activities or components to stakeholders. Don’t forget that you can start small and scale up as you are able. You already track information for funders and other stakeholders. Consider what you can do with the information you already collect during normal program operations.

Program evaluation does not necessarily require a significant time commitment. Although effort will be needed, it will be time well spent to have conducted a thorough and useful evaluation with the time you are able to dedicate. As a result of doing an evaluation, you might also identify time savings that can be applied in other priority areas.

You might find that some of what you are doing can be done better. Learning organizations — that is, organizations that learn from experience to continually improve their program practices — understand that both success and failure provide constructive feedback for building a better program. Being flexible in this way will show that your program is adaptable and committed to continuous improvement.

Related Links
Page last reviewed: September 9, 2020