ARCHIVED - Population Health Fund Evaluation 2008 Final Report
5.1 Future programs designed to encourage action on the determinants of health should build on the strengths currently exhibited by the PHF.
Regional consultants have developed strong credibility and good relationships with many organizations in their regions. They are well positioned to identify organizations that will be interested in continuing to work on determinants of health under whatever program structure is implemented.
There are rich networks of partnerships in the region, cross-regions and nationally that understand and are interested in the PHA. Future efforts to mobilize communities in the regions to work on the determinants of health can utilize these networks.
There are many examples of community-based projects that have positively affected their communities. It should be possible to build on these successes. Actions that will positively affect the health of populations in communities require strong community bases for implementation. This is consistent with the Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2008 that suggests a strategy for Moving Forward is to strengthen communities. It acknowledges that: “The community is where all sectors converge and where it is often easiest for the various players to come to the table to establish local priorities and develop shared strategies to address inequalities.”Footnote 3 It also states: “Every effort must be made to build on the existing knowledge, experience, energy and investments already in place in Canadian communities to reduce inequalities in both health and the factors that influence health. . .”
The diversity of issues that have been addressed through the PHF is seen as an important strength by the community players. Future efforts should allow room for a wide variety of approaches to address a wide variety of issues within the PHA determinants of health framework.
5.2 Efforts should be made to improve evaluative data gathering and reporting.
The activities, outputs, and immediate outcomes of the program leadership function specified in the logic model should be reviewed to decide if they are appropriate, and perhaps refine them to key elements. If important elements are identified, then systems should be developed and implemented to monitor and record the implementation of these key elements of the program at specified intervals.
The format for the quarterly and final reports of the projects should be reviewed to ensure that relevant information about important indicators are recorded in a way that is easy to extract. For example, if volunteer involvement is an important indicator, this information should be required in a format that accurately captures the indicators of volunteer involvement that are considered relevant. If these indicators were recorded in a standardized electronic format, then retrieval and analyses of the measures would be easier and results more meaningful. However, it is important to keep these tasks manageable, and information should be required only if it is essential to describing the program model as implemented and its effects.
Summary reports of project successes at the Regional level should become routine. The reports prepared by the Atlantic Region and Quebec are good examples. This allows an easier overview of the effects of PHF supported projects in a region, as opposed to just the success of individual projects.
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