Evaluation of Health Promotion Program at the Community Level in Mexico: Is the Program Efficient and Effective?

Jacqueline E Alcalde-Rabanal, Yuliana Flores-Loera, Carlos Chivardi, Ma Guadalupe Ruelas-González, Nayeli Macías, María Cecilia González-Robledo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CONTEXT: Health promotion programs have been encouraged in the Americas since 1990. In Mexico, health program promotion at the community level was implemented by the Ministry of Health in 2001 to encourage community health status improvement. Despite the longtime of its implementation, evaluations of its efficiency and effectiveness are scarce.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficiency of the Healthy Environments and Communities Program (HECP) through 2 means: (1) efficiency of the implementation and (2) technical efficiency, as well as to evaluate its effectiveness.

SETTING: Target communities of the HECP of 32 Mexican states during 2013-2017. The HECP developed community interventions to improve community organization, health behaviors, and family and communitarian sanitation.

METHODOLOGY: We conducted a cross-sectional study to evaluate the efficiency of HECP implementation and estimated the inclusion of target communities (focalization index), the retention of communities (continuity index), and the desertion of communities in the program (desertion index). To evaluate the adequate use of the program resources (technical efficiency), we used data-enveloped analysis and the Tobit regression model to identify external factors that can influence results. Finally, to evaluate the program's effectiveness, we estimated the index of the communities that improved their health indicators and were certified as healthy (community certification).

RESULTS: The median rate of focalization was 3.44 (1.31-85.13); the continuity of communities' rate was 0.50 (0.16-2.67). Regarding technical efficiency to reach healthy communities, only 2 states reached the optimal efficiency (score 1); where the efficiency was adjusted for external factors, 6 states reached a score of 1. The median of global effectiveness was 0.19 (0.01-0.78). We found differences in efficiency and effectiveness scores among states.

CONCLUSION: We found lower efficiency of the implementation and technical efficiency, as well as poor effectiveness of the program to reach healthy communities. To achieve HECP purpose, it is necessary to revise its guidelines, improve its strategies to work in communities, and establish the right mechanisms to monitor its implementation. It is essential to focus on the resources used to enhance technical efficiency and effectiveness at the community level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-662
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of public health management and practice : JPHMP
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • Humans
  • Mexico
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Program Evaluation/methods
  • Health Promotion/methods
  • Health Behavior

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