The Mary Open Doors Public Health Program Challenges

Challenges Related to Evaluation and Reporting

Description of the Mary Open Doors Program

The Mary Open Doors public health program focuses on assisting victims of domestic abuse through advocacy efforts aimed at drawing attention to the scourge. The program involves providing victims with medicine, health care services, counseling services, food, clothing and housing to improve their wellbeing (LRT Education, 2012).

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One Additional Challenge to Evaluation not Mentioned in the Mary Open Doors Program

The timing of when to undertake the evaluation is one challenge of the Mary Open Doors program that has not been mentioned in the LRT Education (2012), but could affect the effectiveness of the program’s evaluation process. This challenge stems from the works of specific researchers, such as Harris (2010), who say that knowing when to review a program could affect the evaluation process. Magnus et al. (2009) add that this challenge is more poignant when the target population is comprised of different groups of people (for example, those who are still in a program and people who are out of it).

This is the case for the Mary Open Doors program because it comprises of women who are getting help and those who have already received such assistance. Poor timing for conducting the evaluation may lead to a failure to recognize the effects of this division (of the target population) in the evaluation process because those who are undergoing rehabilitation may have different views about the program compared to those who have already undergone it.

Challenge to Reporting not Mentioned in the Mary Open Doors Program

One challenge to reporting, which was not mentioned in the Mary Open Doors program, is the hidden statistics regarding domestic abuse, which may not have been captured by the official statistics informing the evaluation. Indeed, while it may be possible to affirm the efficacy of the program through a reduction in domestic abuse cases, it may not be possible to quantify the effects of the number of unreported domestic abuse cases on the program’s efficacy. Relative to this finding, the Parliament of Australia (2015) says domestic violence is among the most underreported cases of violence. Some experts claim that up to 70% of such crimes are not officially reported (Parliament of Australia, 2015).

Others say that most cases of domestic abuse would not be reported until they have occurred severally (Donnelly & Ward, 2015). This concern stems from official statistics which show that a woman may be abused (domestically) up to 35 times before she reports such a case, or seeks help (Parliament of Australia, 2015). Such biases in reporting may affect the outcome of evaluation reports for the Mary Open Doors program.

Strategy for Solving Evaluation and Reporting Challenges for Mary Open Doors Program

The challenge of determining when to undertake an evaluation of the Mary Open Doors program could be solved by standardizing the evaluation process. The purpose of doing so is to get a comprehensive outcome of the program’s effectiveness because undertaking the evaluation midway through the program could mean that the impact on the target population could change (Fertman & Allensworth, 2017). Comparatively, to solve the problem of underreporting, it is pertinent to educate the public about the need to report cases of domestic abuse (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, 2004). This way, program evaluators would have a more reliable basis for evaluating the impact of the program.

Additional Challenge to Evaluation and Reporting not mentioned in the Mary Open Doors Program

One additional challenge to evaluation, which was not described in the Mary Open Doors program, is a misplaced understanding of the program’s scope, which may lead to misguided expectations of the same. For example, the failure to communicate clearly what the public health program is about and what people should expect from it could make it difficult for the target population to quantify the success of the program (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, 2004).

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Having unrealistic expectations about the program, or not clearly explaining its objectives could also encourage them to give unjustified and negative reviews about it (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, 2004). Similarly, having low-expectations of the program could prompt the target population to give unjustified positive reviews during the evaluation phase. These issues could pose a challenge in recognizing areas of success or identifying issues that need improvement in the public health program (LaPelle, Zapka, & Ockene, 2006).

Lastly, one additional challenge to reporting that is not described in the Mary Open Doors program is the failure to identify the key performance indicators that could affect reporting. Indeed, the lack of uniformity regarding what measures should be reported could emerge as a key problem in the program’s reporting modalities because it could create confusion regarding what indicators to observe, or compare, when reporting on the progress of the public health program.

Fertman and Allensworth (2017) define this problem though their analysis of the need to include key performance indicators when developing reliable reports. They say that the failure to have unique indices for measuring health data could create confusion in the data analysis and reporting processes, especially if different jurisdictions are involved because evaluators would find it difficult to know which measures to look out for when reporting (Fertman & Allensworth, 2017).

Strategy for Addressing Evaluation Challenges in Water Missions Belize Program

One problem identified in the Water Missions Belize Program is the failure to undertake frequent surveys. In fact, one of the respondents said there are countable numbers of surveys that have been done in the past 25 years (LRT Education, 2012). This low number of evaluations is undesirable because surveys need to be done frequently (Magnus et al., 2009). To address this challenge, it is important to formulate a policy that exemplifies the need for frequent surveys.

For example, the policy could stipulate that surveys should be done annually. This way, everyone involved in the program knows when the evaluation will occur to avoid any confusion that may arise from not knowing when to carry out such a process (Harris, 2010). Similarly, by having this policy adjustment, it would be easier for the donors and program administrators to allocate the right resources for the survey/evaluation (Harris, 2010). This way, all stakeholders would be furnished with timely and relevant information involving the program.

Strategy for Addressing Reporting Challenges in Water Missions Belize Program

The failure to undertake automatic reporting is one challenge identified in the Water Missions Belize program because few people involved in it seem to understand the importance of participating in the process in the first place (LRT Education, 2012). The solution to this problem is educating the participants about the need to undertake periodic and automatic reporting. The education could occur through training seminars where they are informed about the benefits of reporting on the progress of the public health program, as a prerequisite for its success.

Sustainability of Public Health Program

Importance of Sustainability to Ebola Awareness Program

The sustainability of a public health program should be conceived at the initial phase of its formulation because there should be a plan for ensuring that the program is viable beyond the initial phases of its implementation (Guidotti, 2015). Sustainability is an important concept in the implementation of the Ebola awareness campaign because it could maintain the effects of the program over long periods (Fertman & Allensworth, 2017).

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Similarly, sustainability should be an important part of the campaign because it could help to maximize the effects of the program beyond the latency period that is associated with it (Guidotti, 2015). Lastly, if the Ebola awareness program is to have a positive effect on the target population, the failure to make it sustainable could lead to an investment loss for all the stakeholders involved in its implementation (Fertman & Allensworth, 2017). In other words, if the program ends, some of the gains made through the program could be lost. Thus, sustainability is important for the long-term success of the Ebola awareness campaign.

Strategies to Ensure Sustainability in Post-Funding Years

There are several strategies I could integrate in the Ebola awareness campaign to ensure it is sustainable. One of them is forming a coalition of partners who will continue implementing the program and protecting its gains in the post-funding years (Harris, 2010). The aim of assembling this coalition is to form strong foundation structures that would keep all the stakeholders motivated to support the program beyond the implementation phase. The coalition may include different partners, such as industry administrators, local health facilities, community leaders, government agencies and local charity organizations (CDC, 2014).

Another strategy I could use to make sure the campaign is viable beyond the post-funding years is to make Ebola awareness part of the routine process for managing the disease. This recommendation comes from the work of Guidotti (2015) who refers to this strategy as the “routinization” of public health practices. The goal is to make the practice a stable and regular part of the procedures to follow when managing Ebola. Involving the local health facilities as a partner could be beneficial in this analysis because they could provide a health care context for the implementation of this strategy (LaPelle, Zapka, & Ockene, 2006).

Furthermore, by integrating the strategy into existing health care policies of Sierra Leone, the facilities could be obligated to fund it through their regular budgets. Comprehensively, these suggestions point towards possible ways of making sure the proposed public health program is sustainable beyond the initial funding years.

How Program Could Promote Long-term Social Change

The proposed public health program in Sierra Leone could promote long-term social change in the country by cultivating healthy lifestyle behaviors among the target population to reduce their incidence of contracting Ebola. For example, the Ebola awareness program aims to sensitize the population about the dangers of eating bush meat. By imparting knowledge to the target population about how such practices predispose them to Ebola, one long-term social change that could be realized is the avoidance of bush meat consumption as a primary source of food. By nurturing such a change, there could be a long-term reduction in the risk of contracting Ebola (Savel & Foldy, 2012).

Another long-term social change could be the improved care of sick people in Sierra Leone because the program would sensitize the population about the appropriate measures to take whenever they detect a suspicious case of the disease (CDC, 2014). By implementing this strategy, a significant reduction in the number of Ebola cases associated with improper care for the sick could occur (CDC, 2014). Collectively, these findings show that the Ebola awareness campaign could promote social change in Sierra Leone by promoting positive lifestyle behaviors that would prevent the occurrence and spread of the disease.

Suggestions for Promoting Long-term Social Change in Post-funding Years

One strategy for promoting the long-term social change of the proposed public health program is to elevate Ebola awareness to institutional levels, as opposed to merely integrating it with organizational policies, as highlighted in this paper (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, 2004). For example, talking with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Education to include Ebola awareness education in the country’s school curriculum could be a positive step in making sure that the program lives on, beyond the initial campaign. Through this strategy, children would learn about Ebola and possibly share the same messages with their families.

This is a sustainable way of making sure that the program outlives its scheduled campaign period. Another way of making sure the program promotes long-term social change in the post-funding years is to increase the capacity of local systems to continuously engage people about the dangers of Ebola, its transmission mechanisms and its prevention methods. This suggestion comes from the fact that the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone was partly contributed by the lack of capacity of local health care systems to manage it (CDC, 2014).

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Additional Insights about Sustaining Ebola Awareness Program

This paper shows that program sustainability is an important part of implementing the Ebola awareness campaign. However, it should be noted that a pilot project should be done to evaluate the effectiveness of the program first. Later, the proposed sustainability proposals should be instituted because only those programs, which are effective, should be sustained (LaPelle et al., 2006).

References

CDC. (2014). Ebola outbreaks 2000–2014. Web.

Fertman, C.I., & Allensworth, D.D. (Eds.). (2017). Health promotion programs: From theory to practice (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Web.

Guidotti, T. (2015). Health and sustainability: An introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Web.

Harris, M.J. (2010). Evaluating public and community health programs. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Web.

LaPelle, N.R., Zapka, J., & Ockene, J.K. (2006). Sustainability of public health programs: The example of tobacco treatment services in Massachusetts. American Journal of Public Health, 96(8), 1363–1369. Web.

Savel, T.G., & Foldy, S. (2012). The role of public health informatics in enhancing public health surveillance. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 61(3), 20–24. Web.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute. (2004). Making health communication programs work: A planner’s guide. Web.

Donnelly, P., & Ward, C. (2015). Oxford textbook of violence prevention: Epidemiology, evidence, and policy. London, UK: Oxford University Press. Web.

Fertman, C.I., & Allensworth, D.D. (Eds.). (2017). Health promotion programs: From theory to practice (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Web.

Harris, M.J. (2010). Evaluating public and community health programs. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Web.

LaPelle, N.R., Zapka, J., & Ockene, J.K. (2006). Sustainability of public health programs: The example of tobacco treatment services in Massachusetts. American Journal of Public Health, 96(8), 1363–1369. Web.

LRT Education. (2012). Challenges to evaluation and reporting. Baltimore, MD: Author. Web.

Magnus, M., Herwehe, J., Andrews, L., Gibson, L., Daigrepont, N., De Leon, J.M., Butler, M.K. (2009). Evaluating health information technology: Provider satisfaction with an HIV-specific, electronic clinical management and reporting system. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 23(2), 85-91. Web.

Parliament of Australia. (2015). Domestic violence: Issues and policy challenges. Web.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute. (2004). Making health communication programs work: A planner’s guide. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, October 29). The Mary Open Doors Public Health Program Challenges. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-mary-open-doors-public-health-program-challenges/

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "The Mary Open Doors Public Health Program Challenges." October 29, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/the-mary-open-doors-public-health-program-challenges/.

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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'The Mary Open Doors Public Health Program Challenges'. 29 October.

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