Measuring infrastructure: A key step in program evaluation and planning
State tobacco prevention and control programs (TCPs) require a fully functioning infrastructure to respond effectively to the Surgeon General's call for accelerating the national reduction in tobacco use. The literature describes common elements of infrastructure; however, a lack of valid and reliable measures has made it difficult for program planners to monitor relevant infrastructure indicators and address observed deficiencies, or for evaluators to determine the association among infrastructure, program efforts, and program outcomes. The Component Model of Infrastructure (CMI) is a comprehensive, evidence-based framework that facilitates TCP program planning efforts to develop and maintain their infrastructure. Measures of CMI components were needed to evaluate the model's utility and predictive capability for assessing infrastructure. This paper describes the development of CMI measures and results of a pilot test with nine state TCP managers. Pilot test findings indicate that the tool has good face validity and is clear and easy to follow. The CMI tool yields data that can enhance public health efforts in a funding-constrained environment and provides insight into program sustainability. Ultimately, the CMI measurement tool could facilitate better evaluation and program planning across public health programs.