|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 113
Health Strategy Evaluation: An Overview
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||1-Jun-2015|
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Health Strategy Evaluation: An Overview. MAMC J Med Sci 2015;1:113
Worldwide, the program managers have implemented various welfare strategies based on the prevalent public health problems to improve the health indicators of the masses.  However, mere formulation and implementation of health strategies will not serve the purpose unless it achieves the intended aim and thus bring about an improvement in the health status of the recipients.  For this to happen, a thorough evaluation of health strategies has been recommended so that the proposed targets can be achieved within the stipulated time interval. 
In general, evaluation is a systematic process to assess the extent to which outcomes have been achieved following the initiation of a specific policy when compared with the previously stated objectives.  However, evaluation has to be a continuous process throughout the course of an initiative (concurrent evaluation), rather than an activity performed at the end of the initiative (terminal evaluation).  Acknowledging the benefits of a thorough evaluation in different facets of a programme (viz. current performance, improvement in outcome indices, release of monetary aid for the subsequent year, etc.) evaluation has been considered as an indispensable element in the health arena. 
The process of evaluation consists of multiple steps starting from ascertaining what has to be evaluated (structure/process/outcome); defining the standards against which obtained results will be compared; devising a strategy for conducting thorough evaluation; collection, analysis and interpretation of data; providing feedback to all the involved stakeholders; followed by implementing corrective measures to strengthen or modify the services involved; and finally re-evaluation to assess the results of the remedial steps. ,,
One of the prerequisites to undertake a comprehensive evaluation throughout the nation essentially necessitates that standardized guidelines should be developed to enable maximum coordination between different levels.  In addition, the process of evaluation should assess six different aspects of a health service, including its relevance, adequacy, process, efficacy (can the health strategy deliver desired results in ideal circumstances), effectiveness (does it provide acceptable results in real life), and efficiency (whether it is the most economical way in terms of time or money). ,, Finally, the process of evaluation should not only limit itself to health care providers/programme managers, but even simultaneously assess the needs of patients and communities. 
In conclusion, in the field of public health, in order to improve the health status and quality of life of people and to achieve the anticipated objectives, the need of the hour is to not only formulate comprehensive policies, but also support it with a continuous and thorough process of evaluation.
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