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GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS

Construct: an abstract idea that we want to measure. “Constructs” can also be thought of as “concepts.” For example, “empowerment” and “social support” are constructs that CHWs may influence through their work.


Indicator: a specific question or statement or set of questions or statements that measure a construct. For example, the construct of “empowerment” can be measured by asking questions about the amount of control people feel they have in their lives, their sense of community, and their ability to make decisions, among other perceptions the have.


Process Indicators: indicators that measure what CHWs do, how they do it, and what they need to be successful.


Outcome Indicators: indicators that measure the results CHWs achieve through their work, or that are associated with the work of CHWs. (The lives of program participants and communities are affected by many things, so it is often hard to impossible to attribute change just to CHWs or a CHW program.)


Operationalize: to move from developing a set of indicators to using those indicators in a specific data collection tool and approach (e.g., embedding the indicator questions in a CHW encounter form or a survey of CHWs, participants, or employers).


Performance measure: a measure used for the on-going monitoring and reporting of program accomplishments, particularly progress toward pre-established goals.


Policy: a law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive, or voluntary practice of governments and other institutions. Organizational policies, procedures, administrative rules and guidelines (so-called “small p” policies) are included within this definition. Policy decisions are frequently reflected in resource allocations. Health can be influenced by policies in many different sectors.


Scale (or psychometric scale): a set of questions or statements that measure a construct (or variable) in a reliable and valid manner. The term “scale” used in this way is different from a simple set of questions about a topic.


Variable: a factor, trait, or condition that can exist in varying amounts and that may change over time.

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