BOX 2-4

Applying the Evaluation Framework to Childhood Obesity Prevention Interventions

Contexts and Sectors

How does the action contribute to preventing childhood obesity? What are the rationale and the supporting evidence for this particular action as a viable obesity prevention strategy, particularly in a specific context? How well is the planned action or intervention matched to the specific setting or population being served?

  • What are important descriptive demographic, sociocultural, and geographical characteristics of the contexts being served? What proportion of the population is at high risk for obesity in the various contexts and sectors being served?

  • What is the present character and extent of the childhood obesity epidemic at this time in the contexts being served? What do children, caretakers, and intermediaries want and what are their barriers to change?

  • What activities in other sectors are happening in the relevant contexts?

Resources and Inputs, Strategies, and Actions

What are the quality and reach or power of the action as designed? How well is the action carried out? What are the quality and reach or power of the action as implemented?

  • To what extent and in what ways is the program design

    • Coherent, logical, comprehensive, and representative of a plausible idea?

    • Grounded in relevant theory and research about the actions observed?

    • Offering an intervention or experience of sufficient scope and magnitude (“dose”) that changes could be expected from it?

    • Well matched to the relevant characteristics of the local context, including socioeconomic status and cultural diversity?

evaluation designs9 can be useful for catalyzing thoughtful, creative, and innovative changes and identifying promising childhood obesity prevention interventions.

Connecting the Key Evaluation Questions to the Evaluation Framework

It is helpful to think about the components of the evaluation framework—sectors, resources and inputs, strategies and actions, and outcomes—in light of the four evaluation questions (Box 2-4). In planning an evalua-


A mixed-method design involves methodologies drawn from a variety of disciplines and both qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis methods that combine extensive descriptions of context and the experiences of program participation with standardized assessments of changes in institutions or systems, the environment, and individual or population behaviors.

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