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Safe Motherhood Program Evaluation: Theory and Practice

Authors

  • Lesley Milne RM, RMT, MSc,

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    • Lesley Milne, RM, RMT, MSc, is an IMMPACT Research Fellow at the Dugald Baird Centre for Research on Women's Health, University of Aberdeen.

  • Graham Scotland MSc,

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    • Graham Scotland, MSc, is an IMMPACT Research Assistant at the Dugald Baird Centre for Research on Women's Health, University of Aberdeen.

  • Nargiz Tagiyeva-Milne MD, MPH,

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    • Nargiz Tagiyeva-Milne, MD, MPH, is an IMMPACT Scientific Officer at the Dugald Baird Centre for Research on Women's Health, University of Aberdeen.

  • Julia Hussein MRCOG, MSc

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Julia Hussein, MRCOG, MSc, is IMMPACT Scientific Coordination Leader at the Dugald Baird Centre for Research on Women's Health, University of Aberdeen.


Dugald Baird Centre for Research on Women's Health, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Cornhill Road, Aberdeen AB25 2ZL, Scotland. E-mail: j.hussein@abdn.ac.uk

Abstract

Debate on the evaluation of safe motherhood programs has mainly focused on the outcome or process measure to be used. Less attention is paid to the application of different approaches to evaluation. This article reviews current theories of evaluation and provides examples of the extent to which these theories have been applied in the actual practice of evaluation. Most evaluations use multiple methods and approaches, but the rationale and intention behind these choices are often not made explicit. Factors are identified that need to be taken into consideration when planning and conducting safe motherhood program evaluations. Safe motherhood programs are complex interventions, requiring evaluation by different theoretical approaches and multiple methods. Awareness of these approaches will allow health professionals to plan for evaluation and to use evaluation findings more effectively. If cognizant of the different approaches to evaluation, evaluation frameworks can be developed to improve assessment of the effectiveness of these programs.

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