SACHRU, in collaboration with the Discipline of Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, conducted a workshop program as part of its commitment to providing training and support in research, needs analysis and evaluation to workers in community health and other primary health care agencies. A series of training workshops was developed from a community health perspective and was intended to give an introduction to research and evaluation in community health. Program content was regularly updated to reflect current trends and changes in health services

Training packages included:

Building Evaluation into Practice

Demands to evaluate community and primary health care and health promotion programs continue to grow. This workshop provided an introduction to evaluation: what is it, why do it and who is it for? The workshop introduced different types of evaluation and discussed the issues to consider when planning and conducting an evaluation. The workshop focused on evaluation as a means to improve policy and practice.

 

Planning & evaluation: a Program Logic approach for community and primary health care

This workshop provided an introduction to program logic as a means of planning, monitoring and evaluating practice and programs. Program logic provides a plausible explanation of how and why an intervention will work and what impacts and outcomes are likely to be achieved. Program logic allows for local knowledge and context to be taken into account. A program logic approach allows for social justice, health promotion and primary health care principles to be embedded in planning and evaluation.

 

Research and Evaluation Methods and Design:

  • Action Research/ Participatory Action Research
  • Quantitative Evaluation Methods
  • Questionnaire and Survey Design
  • Evaluation of One-to-One Services
  • Interviews and Focus Groups
  • Client/Consumer Feedback

 

Principles into Practice: Equity

Improving health equity is a fundamental principle of primary health care and a central concern of the South Australian government reflected in their commitment to Health Equity Actions. The necessity for agencies to assess and respond to inequitable access to their services and programs and achieve more equitable outcomes within and between population groups has been widely recognised.

This workshop covered: the social determinants of health, concepts of health equity, applying an equity lens to practice and programs and appropriate evaluation methods.

 

Principles into Practice: Participation

Community participation is an ethical and democratic right and has also become an expectation of funding bodies. Community participation in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services is a key component of the primary health care approach. This workshop explored key concepts, ways of facilitating community participation, ethical and practical issues, planning for, implementing and evaluating community participation strategies.

 

Principles into Practice: Partnerships

Partnerships and collaboration across organisations and sectors are being advocated in a variety of arenas as a means of addressing complex social problems. Partnership processes allow different perspectives of, and possible solutions to a problem to be explored and implemented. Positive partnerships result in "the whole being greater than the sum of its parts" with a richer and more comprehensive exploration of the issue and the pooling of resources in order to meet objectives. This workshop explored key concepts, enablers and barriers to partnerships and planning for, implementing and evaluating partnerships.

 

Social Determinants of Health - what can community and primary health care services/practitioners do?

An understanding of the social determinants of health has implications not only for policy but also health programs and practice. The social determinants are the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to deal with problems and illness. These circumstances are in turn shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social policies, and politics. The social determinants are linked to health inequalities as they determine the extent of people's access to opportunities & resources to realise their aspirations, satisfy need and to cope with or change their environments . This workshop explored the implications of an understanding of the social determinants for programs and practices. Given that many of the social determinants are outside health and other human service systems, the workshop focused on what practitioners can do in their everyday practice to act on the determinants.

 

Social Determinants of Health and chronic conditions

Negative social, economic, and neighbourhood conditions influence quality of life and human development. Their cumulative effects produce negative outcomes, including chronic conditions. The social determinants structure people's health behaviours and interact with each other to produce health. The incidence rate for chronic conditions is higher for people in poorer circumstances - this is known as the gradient effect. This workshop explored the implications of an understanding of the social determinants for policy, programs and practice in relation to chronic conditions.