Health improvement is what public health professionals strive to achieve. To reach this goal, we must devote our skill -- and our will -- to evaluating the effects of public health actions. As the targets of public health actions have expanded beyond infectious diseases to include chronic diseases, violence, emerging pathogens, threats of bioterrorism, and the social contexts that influence health disparities, the task of evaluation has become more complex. CDC developed the framework for program evaluation to ensure that amidst the complex transition in public health, we will remain accountable and committed to achieving measurable health outcomes.
By integrating the principles of this framework into all CDC program operations, we will stimulate innovation toward outcome improvement and be better positioned to detect program effects. More efficient and timely detection of these effects will enhance our ability to translate findings into practice. Guided by the steps and standards in the framework, our basic approach to program planning will also
evolve. Findings from prevention research will lead to program plans that are clearer and more logical; stronger partnerships will allow collaborators to focus on achieving common goals; integrated information systems will support more systematic measurement; and lessons learned from evaluations will be used more effectively to guide changes in public health strategies.
Publication of this framework also emphasizes CDC's continuing commitment to improving overall community health. Because categorical strategies cannot succeed in isolation, public health professionals working across program areas must collaborate in evaluating their combined influence on health in the community. Only then will we be able to realize and demonstrate the success of our vision -- healthy people in a healthy world through prevention.
Jeffrey P. Koplan, M.D. M.P.H.
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Administrator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
The following CDC staff members prepared this report:
Robert L. Milstein, M.P.H.
Office of Program Planning and Evaluation