Political and Organizational Issues in Assessing Health and Nutrition Interventions

  • Antonio Ugalde
  • Robert Emrey
  • Adolfo Chávez


The issues we wish to discuss are fundamental to establishing a successful program evaluation in Latin America. Technical and computational problems will certainly impede development of evaluation methods under current circumstances in Latin America, and one may add in most developing countries in the world. Compared to them, however, we contend that political and organizational factors will prove to be even more difficult to overcome, will require the longest time to change, and will demand the greatest investment of in-telectual and official energy to find adequate solutions in the development process. Without attention to these issues, no model of impact assessment — whether imported or developed within Latin America — can hope to survive and take root. In brief form, the issues are of four types:
  1. a.

    Purposes for program evaluation differ greatly among designers and users of impact measurement techniques in Latin America;

  2. b.

    Data handling methods and organizations are not adequate to collect, transmit, and present the complex variables required in studying the causes and effects of health and nutrition program impacts in Latin America;

  3. c.

    People having both sufficient technical knowledge and political influence either cannot or will not participate in program evaluation efforts in Latin America; and

  4. d.

    Bureaucratic processes are not understood well enough to ensure implementation of programs. Knowledge of bureaucratic decision making is a requirement for the establishment of evaluation procedures. Similarly, there is limited reliable information about the functioning of the political systems in these nations.



Program Evaluation Pilot Project Latin American Country Policy Process Program Effect 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Ugalde
    • 1
  • Robert Emrey
    • 2
  • Adolfo Chávez
    • 3
  1. 1.University of TexasAustinUSA
  2. 2.Association of University Programs in Health AdministrationUSA
  3. 3.National Institute of NutritionMexico 22, D.F.Mexico

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