Web-based version of self-assessment tool to evaluate essential public health operations (EPHOs) now available

The WHO Regional Committee for Europe resolution on the European Action Plan on Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services requested the Regional Office to further develop the paper-based self-assessment tool in order to allow interested Member States to carry out self-assessments of public health services and capacities (1). 

Thus, the web-based tool (2) was developed in close cooperation with the Federal Research Institute for Health Organization and Informatics of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, which is also the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Systems and Public Health. 

The web-based self-assessment tool maintains the same features as the paper-based version (3). This includes textboxes, checkboxes, qualitative information and scoring features. 

The advantage of the web-based tool is that it allows simultaneous, multiuser data entry. It also has a reporting module, which presents results in summary tables and charts on a per response basis. Assessment results could be separated by country or by EPHOs. The system will automatically extract and collate content from the selected topics.

Datasets, which consolidate responses by country, may be downloaded by country representatives. The tool is available in English and Russian. 

Background

In 2014, a new public health self-assessment tool (publication) for EPHOs was developed by its main author José M. Martin-Moreno, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Valencia. This paper-based tool is a comprehensive questionnaire that can be understood as a minimum checklist of public health services. It aims to support systematic assessment of the 10 EPHOs in a country. 

It has several purposes including fostering dialogue on strengths, weaknesses and gaps in essential public health services and capacity; generating policy options or recommendations for public health reforms; and contributing to national public health policies, strategies or programmes. It can also be used for educational or training purposes and is available in English and Russian.