Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Participatory Medicine 6:e5 (2014).
Program evaluation of public engagement processes is important in understanding how well these processes work and in building a knowledge base to improve future engagement efforts. This program evaluation examined a CDC initiative in six states to engage the public about pandemic influenza. Evaluation results indicated the six states were successful in engaging citizens in their processes, participants became more knowledgeable about the topic, citizens believed the process worked well, and projects were successful in influencing opinions about social values. Lessons learned from the evaluation included the importance of communicating evaluation expectations early in the process; creating a culture of evaluation through technical assistance; ensuring resources are available for on-site evaluation collaboration; and balancing the need for cross-site data with the interests of local projects to capture evaluation data relevant to each unique project.