Ethics in Evaluation
From protecting participant confidentiality to ensuring a program is providing full disclosure to participants, program evaluators have a variety of ethical dilemmas that must be taken into consideration during a public health program evaluation. It is important for evaluators to appropriately respond to and account for any ethical issues to ensure findings are valid and reliable and meet the ethical standards of public health officials. In this Discussion, you consider the impact of ethical considerations on program evaluation and explain ways to ensure that your program meets ethical practices.
Consider the following program evaluation scenario:
The manager of a new local chapter of a healthy living program is required to conduct an annual report on the effectiveness of the program to stakeholders at the national level. The local chapter has been established for a little over a year now within a suburban community of 5,000 people. The manager feels confident that the program will be found effective and decides to use a survey as the data collection instrument. The manager locates a survey on obesity from a familiar website, prints out 30 copies, and then gives it to the program volunteers to complete. After receiving all surveys back from the volunteers, the manager is excited that the analysis finds the program is having a positive effect on obesity rates. Feeling the pressure to provide the findings to the national stakeholders, the manager compiles the report and mails it to the national headquarters.
To prepare for this Discussion:
· Review “Ethical Considerations” in Chapter 13 of the McKenzie et al. text. Reflect on the potential ethical considerations in program evaluation. Think about how you might address these considerations.
· Consider how to ensure that your program evaluation meets ethical practices.
· Even when ethics are not formally addressed in an evaluation plan, they still warrant your attention, as conditions are likely to arise through the evaluation process that require attention to ethical principles. Throughout this course you have expanded your knowledge of evaluating public health programs and created an evaluation plan for your public health program. Now you need to consider ethical issues and considerations of creating and implementing your public health program, including ethical practices in disseminating evaluation results. Think about your own evaluation plan and what ethical considerations you may need to address to ensure that your evaluation plan is both appropriate and effective.
· Analyze ethical considerations in program evaluation
· Analyze ethical practices in program evaluation
· Analyze key terms, concepts, and principles related to public health program evaluation