Program Indicators Are in Place
Well, because we now actually have program indicators for all of the impact programs as well as leadership, the pressure is on.
The Leadership program, which is a rather new program (comparatively) and shares the difficult attributes of being a slight challenge to explain and perhaps the most important program we have, brought up the vital issue of how to define goals related to program indicators. This is so important, and something we are going to be discussing with each of the programs over the next several months. It’s like this:
- You have a program indicator, which is what we use to define the outcomes we wish to see related to the interventions we are conducting. (Example: % of mothers with children aged 0-59 months reported to have had a cough and fast and/or difficult breathing due to a problem in the chest in the last two weeks who were immediately taken to an appropriate health provider)
- You gather baseline data related to that program indicator. (Example: we gathered data from a sample of a community to which the Healthcare program had not yet scaled and found a metric value of 91.4%)
- (No more examples henceforth….we have not gotten there yet) You decide how much you wish this value to change (your target delta) to indicate success in your program’s activity related to this metric
- You decide when you wish to hit the target value you establish above
- As a program, you work doing the interventions you planned for that amount of time
- You gather program metric values by doing an impact assessment at the time that you hoped to create that delta
- You determine the delta and calculate p-values to see if your assumptions were appropriate (shout out to Lindsay Cope for pointing this out recently)
- You re-adjust your program interventions if the deltas you see are not close to the targets you had for them at the start of your intervention
Voila! This is the whole process by which program indicators are going to be used. We have really only gotten through steps 1 and 2 at this point. They are HUGE steps, so it’s not for nothing that we have gotten this far, but the next parts are going to be difficult because the M&E team will start taking on its role of sometimes being the bearers of difficult news for programs. We’ll have to help them nail down actual goals related to their indicators. We’ll have to tell them whether they have come close to or are far from hitting those goals. It will be difficult, but the programs are on board!