A proposed model to conduct process and outcome evaluations and implementation research of child health programs in Africa using integrated community case management as an example

The iCCM Symposium impact outcome evaluation thematic group

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Aim To use a newly devised set of criteria to review the study design and scope of collection of process, outcomes and contextual data for evaluations and implementation research of integrated community case management (iCCM) in Sub-Saharan African. Methods We examined 24 program evaluations and implementation research studies of iCCM in sub-Saharan Africa conducted in the last 5 years (2008-2013), assessed the design used and categorized them according to whether or not they collected sufficient information to conduct process and outcome evaluations. Results Five of the 24 studies used a stepped wedge design and two were randomized control trials. The remaining 17 were quasi-experimental of which 10 had comparison areas; however, not all comparison areas had a pre and post household survey. With regard to process data, 22 of the studies collected sufficient information to report on implementation strength, and all, except one, could report on program implementation. The most common missing data elements were health facility treatments, service costs, and qualitative data to assess demand. For the measurement of program outcomes, 7 of the 24 studies had a year or less of implementation at scale before the endline survey, 6 of the household surveys did not collect point of service, 10 did not collect timeliness (care seeking within 24 hours of symptoms) and 12 did not have socioeconomic (SES) information. Among the 16 studies with comparison areas, only 5 randomly selected comparison areas, while 10 had appropriate comparison areas. Conclusions Several evaluations were done too soon after implementation, lacked information on health facility treatments, costs, demand, timeliness or SES and/or did not have a counterfactual. We propose several study designs and minimal data elements to be collected to provide sufficient information to assess whether iCCM increased timely coverage of treatment for the neediest children in a cost-efficient manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number020409
JournalJournal of global health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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