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Testing and evaluating manuals

H.R. Folmer, M.N. Moynihan, P.M. Schothorst

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been helping countries make training and learning materials for many years. A specific section has been created for health learning materials (HLM). Many of these materials are meant for health workers in more remote regions, involved in primary health care – people with fewer resources than their colleagues, and often bigger problems.

There has been a recent boom in production of health learning materials. However, the quantity of these materials is often greater than their quality. Until recently, many of the manuals used in the developing world have been imported. Often they have not been adapted to fit the new country where they are being used. In consequence, WHO has increased its support to emerging national units involved with health learning materials. As a part of this effort, the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam has been asked to find experienced people to work with these units. This has given the writers of this manual a chance to work with counterparts in Africa and Asia. Together we have identified and tried out a number of ways to test learning materials, particularly manuals. This book, which suggests ways to check the quality of various aspects of a manual, and to plan how it can be improved, is one result.