Impact evaluation

What is impact evaluation and why is it important ?

Impact evaluation aims at measuring the effect of real life interventions on a range of outcomes, such as health related behaviours, disease reduction or social/societal factors. Impact evaluations of current interventions are perhaps the most important tool to guide future policy decisions in the area of interest.
Impact evaluations are inherently challenging from the perspective of research methodology, as most interventions are complex (combining many components targeting multiple outcomes); can often not be allocated at random (which would be the easiest way to reduce bias); and often only achieve an impact after a long period of time that may go beyond what can be captured by regular epidemiological studies.

Our key contributions and research in this area:

We have developed methods and sampling strategies to simplify measuring the impact of water and sanitation interventions on diarrhoea. We have further contributed to improving sampling methods of large scale national surveys to estimate water and sanitation coverage.

Our current projects in this area:

We work on a range of strategies to improve impact evaluations in the WASH sector, including microbiological tools and modelling approaches such as agent based modelling.

Full list of publications related to impact evaluations:

  1. Bostoen K, Chalabi Z, Grais RF. Optimisation of the T-square sampling method to estimate population sizes. Emerg. Themes Epidemiol.  2007 Jan
  2. Kristof Bostoen ZC. Optimization of household survey sampling without sample frames. Int J Epidemiol. 2006 Jun;35(3):751-5.
  3. Schmidt, W.-P., Norman, G. and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor, WSUP, 2011. Evaluating the health impact of urban WASH programmes : an affordable approach for enhancing effectiveness : a discussion paper.
  4. Schmidt WP, Cairncross S, Barreto ML, Clasen T, Genser B. (2009) Recent diarrhoeal illness and risk of lower respiratory infections in children under the age of 5 years. Int J Epidemiol. 38(3):766-72.
  5. Schmidt WP, Genser B, Barreto ML, Clasen T, Luby SP, Cairncross S, Chalabi Z. (2010) Sampling strategies to measure the prevalence of common recurrent infections in longitudinal studies. Emerg Themes Epidemiol. 3;7(1):5.
  6. Schmidt WP, Boisson S, Genser B, Barreto ML, Baisley K, Filteau S, Cairncross S. (2010) Weight-for-age z-score as a proxy marker for diarrhoea in epidemiological studies. J Epidemiol Community Health. Dec;64(12):1074-9.
  7. Brown, J., Stauber, C., Murphy, J., Khan, A. Mu, T., Elliott, M., and Sobsey, M. Ambient temperature incubation for the field detection of E. coli in drinking water. (2011) Journal of Applied Microbiology 110(4): 915-923.
  8. Psutka R, Peletz R, Michelo S, Kelly P, Clasen T (2011). The microbiological effectiveness and potential cost of boiling drinking water in peri-urban Zambia: a costly and ineffective approach to improve microbiological quality. Environmental Sci & Tech 45(14):6095-101
  9. Krentel, Alison and Robert Aunger (2011) ‘Causal chain mapping: a novel method to analyse treatment compliance decisions, with application to lymphatic filariasis elimination in Alor, Indonesia’. Health Policy and Planning 26(4): 1-12.
  10. Greenland K, Rondy M, Chevez A, Sadozai N, Gasasira A, Abanida EA, Pate MA, Ronveaux O, Okayasu H, Pezzoli L. Clustered-LQAS: a pragmatic tool to timely assess vaccination coverage. The example of Polio in Northern Nigeria. (2011) Trop Med Int Health. Apr 11
  11. Wolf-Peter Schmidt, Benjamin F Arnold, Sophie Boisson, Bernd Genser, Stephen P Luby, Mauricio L Barreto, Thomas Clasen, Sandy Cairncross. 2011. Epidemiological methods in diarrhoea studies– an update. International Journal of Epidemiology
  12. Environmental risks in the developing world: exposure indicators for evaluating interventions, programmes, and policies. Ezzati M, Utzinger J, CAIRNCROSS S, Cohen AJ, Singer BH. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2005 Jan; 59(1):15-22
  13. Happy, Healthy and Hygienic, How to set up a Hygiene Promotion Programme (books 1-4). Unicef, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, & Ministere de la Sante du Burkina Faso.
  14. Dirt and Diarrhoea: formative research for the design of hygiene promotion programmes. CURTIS V, Kanki B, Cousens S, Sanou A and Mertens T. Health Policy and Planning. 1997, 12(2): 122-131.
  15. Reactivity and repeatability of hygiene behaviour: structured observations from Burkina Faso. Cousens S, Kanki B, Toure S, Diallo I, Curtis V. Social Science and Medicine.1996 Nov; 43 (9):1299-308.
  16. Measuring Hygiene behaviours: Experiences of a comprehensive approach in Burkina Faso. Kanki B, Curtis V, Mertens T, Cousens S and Traoré E. In Studying Hygiene Behaviour: Issues and Experiences. Cairncross S & Kochar V. London, Sage publications 1994.
  17. Structured observations of hygiene behaviours in Burkina Faso: validity, variability, and utility. Curtis V, Cousens S, Mertens T, Traore E, Kanki B, Diallo I. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation. 1993; 71(1):23-32.
  18. Masters of Marketing: Bringing Private Sector Skills to Public Health Partnerships. Cirtis VA, Garbrah-Aidoo N, Scott B. American Journal of Public Health 2007; 97 (4):634-41.

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