About this Session

In this session you will learn how to operationalize constructs in a conceptual model by specifying outcomes and indicators. You will learn what makes an indicator DREAMY and explore commonly reported indicators in global health.

Preparing for Class

  • GHR Chapter 7.1-7.3
  • Patil, S. R., Arnold, B. F., Salvatore, A. L., Briceno, B., Ganguly, S., Colford Jr, J. M., & Gertler, P. J. (2014). The effect of India’s total sanitation campaign on defecation behaviors and child health in rural Madhya Pradesh: a cluster randomized controlled trial. PLoS Med, 11(8), e1001709.
  • Patel, V., Weobong, B., Weiss, H. A., Anand, A., Bhat, B., Katti, B., … & Vijayakumar, L. (2017). The Healthy Activity Program (HAP), a lay counsellor-delivered brief psychological treatment for severe depression, in primary care in India: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 389(10065), 176-185.
  • Lim, S. S., Allen, K., Bhutta, Z. A., Dandona, L., Forouzanfar, M. H., Fullman, N., … & Kinfu, Y. (2016). Measuring the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: a baseline analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet, 388(10053), 1813-1850.
  • Review the application activity that we will complete in class
  • Pre-class readiness assessment


Posted here after class

In-Class Activities

In the first activity you will find an impact evaluation relevant to your interests on JPAL’s website. The objective is to identify each part of the flow from research problem to study measurement.


Then we’ll return to Patil et al. and the evaluation of the total sanitation campaign in India. You already developed a logic model for this intervention, so the next step is to drill down to outcome definitions. What outcomes did the authors measure, and how did they define each outcome?

These two activities are designed to help you (a) learn how to quickly assess key measurement issues in published work and (b) get a sense of how to be thorough as you prepare a measurement plan for your own studies.

The third activity will give us an opportunity to pull back the lens and look at global health indicators more broadly. Every student of global health should know the key indicators we track at a population level. The WHO Global Reference List and the Sustainable Development Goals website are two excellent resources. In this activity you will pick two indicators and drill down to understand how each indicator is defined and measured.

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