Using qualitative evaluation components to help understand the context: case study of a family planning intervention with female community health volunteers (FCHVs) in Nepal


Evaluations of health interventions are increasingly concerned with measuring or accounting for ‘context’. How to do this is still subject to debate and testing, and is particularly important in the case of family planning where outcomes will inevitably be influenced by contextual factors as well as any intervention effects. We conducted an evaluation of an intervention where female community health volunteers (FCHVs) in Nepal were trained to provide better interpersonal communication on family planning. We included a context-orientated qualitative component to the evaluation. Here, we discuss the evaluation findings, specifically focusing on what was added by attending to the context. We explore and illustrate important dimensions of context that may also be relevant in future evaluation work.

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