A standardized reporting system for assessment of diverse public health programs

Prev Chronic Dis. 2012:9:E147. doi: 10.5888/pcd9.120004.


State public health agencies face challenges when monitoring the efforts and effects of public health programs that use disparate strategies and address various diseases, locations, and populations. The external evaluators of a complex portfolio of grant funding sought a standardized reporting framework and tool that could be used for all grants in the portfolio, without having to redesign it for each disease or intervention approach. Evaluators iteratively reviewed grant-funded projects to identify common project delivery strategies, then developed and implemented a common reporting framework and spreadsheet-based data capture tool. Evaluators provided training, technical assistance, and ongoing data reviews. During 2 fiscal years, 103 public health programs throughout Colorado submitted quarterly reports; agencies funded to implement these programs ranged from small community-based organizations to university- and hospital-affiliated groups in urban and rural settings. Aggregated reports supported estimates of program reach by strategy and by disease area, and the system supported production of summary descriptions of program implementation. Standardized language and expectations for reporting helped to align grant applications and work plans with reporting tools. A common language and standardized reporting tool can be used for diverse projects in a comprehensive evaluation framework. Decentralized data collection using common spreadsheet software enabled the aggregation of common data elements across multiple programs and projects. Further refinements could enable wider dissemination of common reporting criteria and expectations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colorado
  • Community Health Planning
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Government Agencies
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Health Promotion*
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Professional Staff Committees
  • Program Evaluation / standards*
  • Public Health Practice*
  • Public Health Surveillance / methods*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Research Personnel