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MEASURE Evaluation Bulletin. 2001; (2):1-27.This issue of the MEASURE Evaluation Bulletin includes articles in a number of areas of monitoring and evaluation of AIDS programs. The first four articles are based on a field test of indicators on knowledge, sexual behavior and stigma that was carried out as part of a large international effort to improve monitoring and evaluation of national programs. The field test resulted in revisions of standard indicators for AIDS programs, which were eventually published by UNAIDS, and revisions of the survey tools that are now used to collect AIDS information in many countries. Three subsequent articles deal with different aspects of monitoring and evaluation. The first of these explores estimation of the size of core groups, such as commercial sex workers or bar workers, which is essential but difficult. Capture-recapture techniques can be used to make such estimates, although there are multiple pitfalls. The next article focuses on monitoring trends in HIV prevalence among young antenatal women, which is the most feasible method of monitoring HIV incidence. Modelling shows that using prevalence trends to extrapolate incidence trends has to be done very carefully, but can be done if one takes measures to minimize the various biases. The last article of the Bulletin discusses the use of newspaper clippings as a source of indicators on political will and commitment and stigma. Although newspaper clippings have been cited as an easily accessible source for these indicators, the analysis suggests that an analysis of newspaper clippings may be more suitable for a cross-sectional situation analysis or in-depth qualitative research than for monitoring purposes. (excerpt)
AIDS. 1998; 12 Suppl 2:S57-65.The World Health Organization's Global Program on AIDS (WHO/GPA) has developed a protocol for conducting facility-based assessments of sexually transmitted disease (STD) case management strategies. The WHO/GPA methodology measures two composite prevention indicators (PIs): PI16--the proportion of patients presenting with STD symptoms who are diagnosed and treated appropriately, and PI17--the proportion who receive basic counseling about condoms and partner notification. The protocol calls for direct observation of provider-client interactions and provider interviews. This article reviews the research literature on the evaluation of STD case management in developing countries. Several studies adapted the WHO/GPA protocol for resource-poor settings and utilized techniques such as record review, patient encounter forms, patient exit interviews, and simulated patients and pharmacy shoppers. Overall, experience indicates that it is difficult to implement the protocol as intended in all field situations. Although nonstandardized alternative methods of data collection do not provide a composite PI16 score, they do generate rich data for monitoring the quality of STD case management and contribute to managerial and supervisory aspects of intervention programs. A widespread observation was that providers have the knowledge to provide better quality STD care than they do in actual practice.
WORLD HEALTH. 1988 Jan-Feb; 10-11.In 1979 WHO invited its member states to participate in a global strategy for health and to monitor and evaluate its effectiveness using a minimum of 12 indicators. Members' 1982 implementation reports and 1985 evaluation reports form the basis for evaluating each measure. Indicators 1-6 have strong political and economic components in both developed and developing countries and are not complete. Indicator 7, for which rates of reply are satisfactory, asks whether at least 5 elements of primary health care are available to the whole population. The 8th gauge seeks information on the nutritional status of children, considering birth weight (a possible indicator of risk) and weight for age (a monitor of growth). Infant mortality rate and life expectancy at birth, indicators 9 and 10, are difficult to estimate in developing countries, and health services are not always kept informed of current estimates. Indicator 11 asks whether the literacy rate exceeds 70%; it can provide information on level of development and should emphasize literacy for women, for whom health information is critical. The last global measure yields information about the gross national product, which is not always the most recent, despite the trend of countries to publish their gross domestic product. Failure to make use of the best national sources, such as this, is one of several problems encountered by WHO's member states in collecting accurate data. Other problems include lack of universally acceptable definitions, different national accounting systems, disinterest of health authorities in economic matters, lack of staff, lack of financial resources in developing countries, and inadequately structured health system management. Each country must choose the most appropriate methods for collection of data. If an indicator cannot be calculated, the country is encouraged to seek and devise a substitute. WHO must produce more precise and reliable indicators. It must respond to requests for ways of improving or strengthening national systems.