Chronic diseases (AKA non-communicable diseases) kill 41 million people each year, accounting for 74% of all deaths globally. Among these deaths, 77% happen in low- and middle-income countries. In OECD countries, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes are the leading causes of mortality and disability burdens.

Many chronic diseases are preventable. Evaluating a chronic disease prevention program allows us to tailor the program to prevent or manage a chronic condition more effectively so that precious resources and effort are not wasted. This course will focus on lifestyle factors primarily responsible for the increased risks of developing or dying from chronic diseases, including tobacco smoking, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity. We should note that social gradient makes chronic disease prevention and control a significant challenge in the 21st century. So, when we evaluate a chronic disease prevention program, it is also critical to consider social determinants.

Completing this course will provide students with foundational skills in program evaluation. Students will learn how to plan an evaluation strategy using a series of chronic disease case studies representing a range of population settings. These case studies have been selected as they represent the main disease burdens currently afflicting global populations.

This is a core course in the Bachelor of International Public Health (3880), comprising 6 units of credit towards the total required for completion of the study program.

Mode of study


Key contact

Who should do this course?

Students who have completed 48 UOC are eligle to enrol in this course.

Course outcomes

The course aims to help students understand the importance and relevance of undertaking program evaluation in modern public health practice. Using chronic diseases and their risk factors as case studies, students will be guided and supported in developing a basic program evaluation plan.

  1. Describe the broader social determinants that underpin the relationship between changes to ways of life, the occurrence of risk factors, and their relationship to chronic disease development.
  2. Accurately explain the epidemiological transition and how this theory can be used to inform the development of population health programs, especially in lower resourced populations.
  3. Describe the purpose and process of program evaluation in modern public health practice; accurately identify the types of evaluation and explain the context in which each of these types of evaluation are used.
  4. Demonstrate the use of an evaluation framework and producing an evaluation plan.
  • Course format: Pre-recorded lectures (self-learning), followed by weekly tutorials held in hybrid mode.
  • Each week focuses on 2-3 topics.


Assessment Task 1 - Discussion Forum Participation
Length: 200-300 words for initial post; 100-200 words for response post
Weighting: 20% (5% each)

Assessment Task 2 - Presentation on the epidemiological transition
Length: 10-12 minutes
Weighting: 25%

Assessment Task 3 - Logic model
Length: 1000 - 1200 words
Weighting: 20%

Assessment Task 4 - Evaluation plan
Length: 2000-2500 words
Weighting: 35%

Readings & resources 

There is no compulsory textbook for this course. The readings required to complete the activities in the interactive lectures are included in the lectures via weblinks. These readings may be a journal article, a report, videos, podcasts or news articles. Some lectures will also include recommended resources for optional further reading.