Public Health Assessment & Program Evaluation

 Why Evaluate?

Last Updated: August 06, 2018

Why Evaluate?

As one of the 10 Essential Public Health ServicesExternal Link, the purpose of public health assessment and evaluation is to demonstrate the success or progress of programs, policies, or initiatives; examine their strengths and weaknesses; identify best practices; and improve their design, implementation, effectiveness, and impact.

Program evaluation allows the owner, manager or champion of a program, policy, or initiative to assess execution, and determine whether it achieved intended outcomes and overall impact.  Evaluation is used to:

  • Do things better
  • Make decisions on evidence as opposed to intuition
  • Pull evidence-based best practices and test them in a field environment
  • Adequately allocate resources
  • Proactively identify and fix a wrong before it perpetuates

Program evaluation closely follows the principles of the The Army Ethic1,2 and enables the owner, manager, and champions of a program, policy, or initiative to:

  • do what is right despite the risk
  • recognize the intrinsic dignity and worth of populations by striving to maintain or improve the public's health
  • be accountable
  • uphold integrity through assessing whether programs, policies, initiatives, environments do what we set out to or claim they do, utilizing resources wisely, ensuring excellence through evaluating the quality of programs, policies, or initiatives and making recommendations for their improvement.

According to US Army Training and Doctrine Command Army White Paper: The Army’s Framework for Character Development,3

When strategic leaders consistently live by and uphold the moral principles of the Army Ethic they reinforce trust with the American people and mutual trust within the profession. External and internal trust are essential for honorable victory on the battlefield—defending our Nation and our way of life.

Public health program evaluation is not limited to public health entities alone, but also to any entity whose activity stands to impact the public's health in the short- or long-term.  Every entity should therefore evaluate the potential for its activity's impacts on the spiritual, psychological, social, as well as physical health of any population. 

Visit the Public Health Assessment Division page to learn more about APHC-driven program evaluation and how you can get involved.


1. Headquarters Department of the Army (HQ DA). AR 600-100 Army Profession and Leadership Policy Washington, DC: HQ DA 5 April 2017 Accessed 30 July 2018.

2. Media Relations Division, Army Public Affairs. "The Army Ethic." Stand-To!. (15 June 2015). Accessed 30 July 2018 from

3. Center for the Army Profession and Ethic Mission Command Center of Excellence U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. Army White Paper. The Army's Framework for Character Development: Integrating Character Development within Leader Development. Strengthening the shared identity of Trusted Army Professionals. (28 August 2017). Accessed 30 July 2018 from