MPH5022 - Evaluating public health programs - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine


Associate Professor Ben Smith

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

  • Second semester 2017 (Day)
  • Second semester 2017 (Off-campus)


Program evaluation can provide valuable evidence to improve the delivery, reach and impact of public health strategies.

This unit will equip students with skills to evaluate disease prevention and health promotion strategies using a range of methodologies. Levels of evaluation will be examined, including formative, process, impact and outcome evaluation, and the range of qualitative and quantitative methods suitable for answering different evaluation questions will be identified.

The complementary roles of different methodologies will be highlighted, with consideration given to approaches that will facilitate learning for practice.

There will be exploration and discussion of the evaluation challenges posed by the complexities of public health action and the contexts in which it is carried out.


On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Distinguish between levels of evaluation recognise and how these are linked to program plans;
  2. Select qualitative designs that are appropriate for different evaluation questions;
  3. Identify the range of quantitative study designs that can be employed and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of these for different strategies and contexts;
  4. Describe methods to measure indicators at all levels of evaluation;
  5. Develop survey questions and interview guides that demonstrate an understanding of measurement quality;
  6. Develop a comprehensive evaluation plan and demonstrate understanding of the steps entailed in evaluation management.


  • Comparison and analysis of evaluation designs (1,200 words) (20%)
  • Development of evaluation instrument (1,800 words) (30%)
  • Evaluation plan (3,000 words) (50%) (hurdle)

Workload requirements

Teacher directed learning will comprise online activities and readings each week (4 hours), and two compulsory on-campus block days (12 hours).

In addition to this, students will be required to undertake an averageof 6 hours per week of self-directed study.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study