Fall 2019 - HSCI 826 G100

Program Planning and Evaluation (3)

Class Number: 8030

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 6:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    BLU 9011, Burnaby



Practical approaches to health needs assessment, needs prioritization, health program planning, and health program evaluation in low-to-middle income countries and/or resource-poor settings. Gender-based analyses are emphasized throughout. A case study approach.


This course is an introduction to community and public health program planning and evaluation concepts, theories, frameworks and approaches. The first part of the course will focus on program planning, and will include community assessment, stakeholder involvement, program planning models, and logic models. The second part of the course will focus on evaluating public health programs and will include types of evaluation, evaluation approaches and theories, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis strategies, community engagement, evaluation design, implementation and reporting. Critical reflection on public health programs will be encouraged and students will examine common ethical issues when applying evaluation approaches to develop and improve health programs and policies. Class discussions and activities will use case study examples from local and global contexts to contextualize the ethical and appropriate application of program planning and evaluation concepts presented in class and readings. The emphasis for practical skills development will be on developing an assessment plan for program planning, and on designing a group health program evaluation proposal. Students will critically assess existing programs and will be challenged to reflect on ethical issues in program planning, implementation and evaluation, including their own social positioning relative to others and the implications that this has on program planning and evaluation practices in local and global contexts. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate introductory level capabilities in undertaking a variety of approaches and methods for conducting health program planning and evaluation among populations in various contexts.


1. Explain the basic elements of program planning and evaluation in public health and illustrate the linkages between health program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
2. Apply a health program planning model and formulate an assessment plan for a particular population in a local or global context, including the use of relevant and appropriate data, information sources and tools.
3. Distinguish different types of evaluations and justify when and why to use them for evaluating public health programs.
4. Develop an evaluation plan for a public health program that involves formulating evaluation questions, selecting appropriate methodologies and approaches, data analysis techniques and reporting strategies.
5. Examine different evaluation approaches and theories (e.g. participatory evaluation, empowerment evaluation and utilization-focused evaluation, etc.) in relation to pubic health programs.
6. Apply a reporting strategy to share evaluation results, and to facilitate the use of public health evaluation findings. 
7. Critically assess the effectiveness, appropriateness and feasibility of public health program for specific local contexts and how this may be assessed through a formal evaluation process.
8. Engage in self-reflection about one’s own social positioning relative to others in program planning and evaluation processes and the ethical implications for public health practice.


  • ASSIGNMENT #1: Critical reflection on public health programs and evaluations design (Student Presentation) 15%
  • ASSIGNMENT #2: Health Program Justification and Assessment Plan (Individual assignment) 25%
  • ASSIGNMENT #3: Program Evaluation Proposal (Group Project) 50%
  • Weekly Participation 10%


Class format and expectations for Learning: Three-hour classes will take a participatory seminar approach. Instructional techniques will include a combination of discussions of issues and readings, lectures, student presentations, and in-class exercises. Both individual and group projects will be assigned throughout the term. Each student is expected to assist in co-creating the learning community within the class. The instructor will be there to support and engage with students in this learning community. Students are expected to come prepared to class, to contribute meaningfully in class discussions and activities, while assisting others to contribute. Limited class time will be allocated for groups to work on their projects, and students will be expected to meet outside of class. Notes from lectures will be provided as PowerPoint presentations and posted on Canvas. Additional readings will be posted online throughout the term. Canvas will also be used as a discussion forum, where students and the instructor may ask questions and post comments on required readings and issues of concern and interest.



Core Text: Harris, M. (2010) Evaluating Public and Community Health Programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

This is the core text of the course, however, the full syllabus includes other required readings as well as optional readings and resources.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html