OBJECTIVES: To understand the similarities, differences, and relationships between three tools for performance and capacity assessment currently available for Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programs and for state and local health agencies. METHODS: Three tools for performance and capacity assessment currently available for Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programs and for state and local health agencies, the Title V MCH Block Grant Performance and Outcome Measures (Title V "24"), CAST-5, and the National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP) were compared using two metrics, a conceptual model of the public health system, and a set of attributes related to the use of the instruments. RESULTS: Both CAST-5 and the NPHPSP are focused on the capacity and key processes (10 Essential Public Health Services) of the public health system, although CAST-5 is intended for capacity assessment and the NPHPSP is intended for performance measurement. The Title V "24" tool is also intended for performance measurement; however, its focus is on the outputs and outcomes of the health system. The Title V "24" tool is the only one of the three that is mandatory, and the only one whose results at the current time can be used to compare across entities. In addition, both the Title V "24" and the NPHPSP include explicit standards, while CAST-5 does not specify explicit standards against which to compare findings. CONCLUSIONS: While there are various tools available to MCH practitioners for capacity assessment and performance measurement, knowing how the tools relate to each other, and their defining characteristics, should lead to more effective and productive use.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health