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Design & Evaluation of Health Programmes

This 3-week course gives you methods and practical tools to conceive and assess health programmes and their intended results.

Deadline: 1 October 2023

Short Courses

  • Face-to-face

  • Antwerp

5 ECTS Credits



About the course


Health programmes lead to better outcomes if they are designed based on evidence and underpinning theories, taking into account the complexities, the context and the stakeholders. Tools such as change pathways and Logical Frameworks (logframe) support programme planners in the design of health porgrammes and in their evaluations. In the first week of this course, we will discuss methods to design programmes and evaluations .

Better understanding “whether a programme works” is one of the pillars of evidence-based Public Health. Evaluation results allow Public Health managers to adapt and/or modify their programmes, determine which programme to implement and contributes to the “evidence base” for decision makers. In the second week of this course, we will focus on approaches and methods to estimate the impact of health programmes. We will introduce the cluster randomized trial design alongside other, non-randomised, evaluation designs and will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these designs using real life examples. You will acquire an understanding of how to choose the “best” impact evaluation design based on the intervention, its context, and other factors.

In the third week of this course, you will be introduced to Process Evaluations, used to understand why a programme worked (or didn’t), for whom and how, and to inform adaptations, sustainability, scalability and transferability. We will use “the hypothesised change pathway” to develop mixed methods process evaluations to address appropriate process evaluation questions, including has the programme been implemented as intended? What was the quality of implementation? Who was reached by the programme?

This short course targets health professionals, health system and programme managers, decision makers and researchers involved in or interested in health programme design and evaluation.

The course draws on ITM’s expertise in specific health problems (including HIV, NCD, Reproductive Health) and quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods, with input from collaborating organisations/institutions, including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Zambart, and builds on the rich exchange of experience between students from many different regions. 

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the participants should be able to:

  • Develop a change pathway for a (public) health programme
  • Transfer a change pathway into a Logical Framework and a programme evaluation plan
  • Conduct a stakeholder and context analysis
  • Describe different impact evaluation designs, including the cluster randomized trial and non-randomised “plausibility” designs
  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different impact evaluation designs, and appraise the strength of causal attribution in evaluation of complex interventions
  • Decide the appropriate design for an evaluation of complex interventions/programmes based on evaluation question and context
  • Explain the role of a process evaluation in determining sustainability, scalability and transferability of a health programme
  • Use a change pathway to design a mixed methods process evaluation 

Tuition fee

€ 730 EEA / 1900 non-EEA


NVAO , valid until 30 September 2024

Course Coordinator(s)

  • Marjan Pirard

Course Administrator(s)

  • Nadine Nuyts

Course Leader(s)

  • Bernadette Hensen