The need for a learning module on evaluation has been identified as a priority for both researchers and peer reviewers. In response to the myriad of challenges facing the health system, both researchers and health system managers are proposing significant changes to current clinical, management and public health practice. This requires timely and rigorous assessment of current programs and innovations. Evaluation is a useful strategy for generating knowledge that can be immediately applied in a specific context, and, if certain evaluation approaches are used, can also generate transferable knowledge useful to the broader health system.
In addition to the common need for some research proposals to include an evaluation component, funders are also initiating funding opportunities that focus on trialing innovations and moving knowledge into action. These proposals, by their nature, require well-designed robust evaluation plans if useful knowledge is to be gained. However, many researchers (like health system managers) have limited evaluation knowledge and skills.