• Presentation

Piloting an Evaluation of a World Health Organization (WHO) Training Program on Early Neonatal Care


McClure, E. M., & Harris, H. S. (2005, December). Piloting an Evaluation of a World Health Organization (WHO) Training Program on Early Neonatal Care. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.


Background: As part of a multi-site study on neonatal care in countries in Africa, Asia, and South and Central America, we will train all birth attendants in participating communities in the newly-developed W.H.O. Essential Newborn Care training program (ENC). We were interested in developing an evaluation of the effectiveness of the ENC training across sites. The training was initially piloted with 15 research nurse midwives in Zambia.

Methods: To develop an evaluation of the WHO ENC program, we identified the content specifications of the ENC training and developed both a written evaluation and a performance assessment that were administered pre and post-training. We piloted these measures at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia. Fifteen nurse midwives took the written and performance measures before and after a week-long training conducted by WHO-certified trainers. This evaluation will be repeated for an additional 76 clinical nurse midwives across Zambia.

Results: After the pilot training, written scores improved for 10 trainees (by an average of 14%); were unchanged in 3, and were worse in 2 following the course (by 5%). Four questions (18%) in the pilot did not discriminate. In the performance component, 100% of the trainees improved, by an average of 43%.

Conclusion: We developed and piloted measures to assess the change in both knowledge and skills attributable to ENC training of nurse midwives. These preliminary results showed that the skills improved more than the knowledge in a group of trained nurse midwives. Since the ENC program emphasized hands-on training, the relatively greater improvement in the performance component is consistent; however, the written test and performance measures need further evaluation and standardization to assure validity and reliability. Pre-post training assessment of the additional 76 clinical nurse midwives will allow us to validate the measures. These instruments will inform both the development of appropriate evaluation tools across sites and provide a measure of the training content.