International Workshop on
Qualitative Methods in Evaluation of Public Health Programs

September 16 - 22, 2019 Bangkok, Thailand
Institute for Population and Social Research Mahidol University
Global Evaluation & Monitoring Network for Health (GEMNet-Health)


Qualitative research methods play an important role in rigorous evaluation of programs and evidence-informed decisions in health. The strength of qualitative methods lies in their ability to provide valuable insight into complex issues, which quantitative methods may not otherwise achieve.

Qualitative data sources can answer the “why” behind program successes or challenges, illuminate the uniquely human side of health programming, and bring to light important contextual factors such as culture, gender, or societal norms. Qualitative data may be used to complement quantitative data, answer a question not accessible quantitatively, or provide a cost-effective data source when one would not otherwise be available.

Despite widespread interest in the effectiveness of health programs and common use of qualitative data in program evaluation, the quality of qualitative evaluation methods is often overlooked in practice and in existing qualitative methods short courses. Are qualitative methods really appropriate to answer the evaluation question? How do we analyse non numerical data? How do we ensure our results are trustworthy—credible, transferable, dependable, and confirmable? And how do we communicate this trustworthiness to others who are unfamiliar with qualitative methods?

This intermediate level workshop is meant to address these questions and assist health professionals in using qualitative research methods in sound and rigorous evaluation of their program. The sessions go beyond basic concepts to practise hands on qualitative methods in the context of rigorous evaluation. Through session content and participatory exercises, participants will gain skills in rigorous qualitative data collection, analysis, anduse.

Workshop Content

The workshop consists of lectures, practical sessions, case studies and group work. Participants will form groups to prepare a proposal for qualitatively evaluating a real program. Participants are encouraged to bring their own cases of programs they are evaluating in their countries. This hands-on training will cover the following areas:

• Concepts, approaches, and purposesof qualitative methods in evaluation
• Developing qualitative evaluation questions
• Troubleshooting in selectedcommon methods
• Sampling for qualitative data collection
• Developing data collection tools
• Qualitative data analysis techniques
• Fieldwork considerations
• Addressing gender throughout qualitative evaluations
• Applying qualitative rigor norms in research/ trustworthiness
• Data dissemination and use and communicating findings and trustworthiness to different audiences


The course is designed for mid-level health professionals involved in the implementation and evaluation of public health programs. Computer literacy, experience using qualitative methods in evaluation, and at least basic knowledge of qualitative methods will be essential. Applicants should be familiar with how to conduct in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, as well as have a basic understanding of research ethics. Applicants should be proficient in English. A laptop is desirable.


The course will be taught by experts from the Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Thailand; Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Mexico; and University of Ghana.

Application Procedures and Deadlines

Those who wish to take part in the workshop should send the completed application forms, description of a program they are evaluating or have evaluated, and other application documents as soon as possible to:

Dusita Phuengsamran
Workshop Coordinator
nstitute for Population and Social Research Mahidol University, Thailand
Phone: +662-441-0201 Ext: 606

Application materials should arrive in Thailand no later than August 10, 2019. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

Institute for Population & Social Research (IPSR), Mahidol University

The Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR) is one of Asia's premier population research and training hubs. The Institute conducts research and provides training in population and development and explores their relationship to the social, economic, reproductive health, medical and public health fields. This allows the Institute to help address emerging issues for Thailand and neighboring countries in south-east Asia and beyond, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for all.

IPSR was the first institution of its kind in Thailand, and has a large number of academic staff and international collaboration partners. Today, we are a Collaborating Centre of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Centre of Excellence in Population and Family Planning/Reproductive Health, and a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Research in Human Reproduction. We also maintain other important research collaborations with the Population Council, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Wellcome Trust.

Global Evaluation and Monitoring Network for Health (GEMNet-Health)

GEMNet-Health aims to foster organizational growth, collaboration, and south-to-south support for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of health programs globally. GEMNetHealth consists of the following member institutions: University of Pretoria (South Africa), Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), Addis Continental Institute of Public Health (Ethiopia), Centre African d'Etudes Supérieures en Gestion (Senegal), El Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, (Mexico), Mahidol University (Thailand), University of Ghana, Public Health Foundation of India, and Kenyatta University (Kenya). MEASURE Evaluation serves as the Secretariat for GEMNetHealth.

Cost of the Workshop

The total course fee is US $2,200, inclusive of the workshop tuition, accommodation, partial board (breakfast daily and lunch on days when the workshop is in session), and roundtrip airport transfers. The cost for the course only (excluding accommodation) is $1,700.

Prospective applicants are advised to seek funding from their home organizations or from national or international agencies. Applicants who have requested funding should submit their complete application forms to IPSR before the deadline. When funding is confirmed, the applicant should let IPSR know as soon as possible. No bursaries will be offered for this workshop.

Contact information

Dusita Phuengsamran
Workshop Coordinator
Institute for Population and Social Research Mahidol University, Thailand
Phone: +662-441-0201 Ext: 606 E-mail:

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