This evaluation is based on the outcome of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) program. The objective was to assess program impact in the social status of Aboriginal people in Australia (1). Child Health Check Initiative (CHCI) and School Health Nutrition will be discussed as components of NTER.
Key evaluation questions will be considered for CHCI as they define the nature of implementation (2). The process evaluation questions might include:
a) What challenges or health problems were discovered during checkups? This will help to determine whether all the children targeted for the program were reached or accessed the intervention. In addition, the question will ascertain the coverage of the intervention within the Northern Territory.
b) How effective was the CHCI in achieving the program goals and objectives? Were all the children reached with the intervention? How about those located in very remote sites with poor access to proper health services? Was there compliance between the program objectives and implementation?
c) What specific childhood diseases were reported during the screening programs? Were there supporting mechanisms for indigenous children identified with deficiencies or disease during the checkups? This question will help to determine the effectiveness of the program in addressing the needs of the children coming for the checkups.
d) How many specialists or staff will be required for the screening programs? Adequate and efficient human resource is key to the success of screening programs (3).
Impact evaluation questions might focus on the intended program outcomes on child health and include:
(a) What was the likely impact of the CHCI on the targeted population? Did the program helped to reduce mortality and morbidity among the indigenous children?
(b) Was the program responsive and culturally acceptable within the indigenous communities? What was the guardians’ response to the initiative? Was participation by compulsory or voluntary?
(c) Did the CHCI reached the intended population? How many children get checked and received treatment? What was the refusal rate?
(d) How were the follow-up programs coordinated? What was the impact of the follow-up services? Was there any policy reform due to the implementation of the program?
Virginia, M. (2008) described ethics as the principles of morality with intent to prevent harm, promote wellness, respect, justice and fairness (4). Evaluation of projects in minority groups must protect the participants from any perceived harm (5). Wright, M. et al (2007) reported on the seriousness of respecting Aboriginal people in any interventions that concern them (6). A School Nutrition Program was undertaken to improve on school attendance among Aboriginal children. Involvement of school going children necessitated a thorough assessment of ethics in the evaluation.
Firstly, the process of obtaining informed consent is critical in this...