Use of participatory epidemiology for impact assessment

Participatory methods can be used for impact assessment of animal health projects. For example:

The system boundary - what are the spatial boundaries of the project under assessment? Participatory mapping can be used to define the boundaries, and the communities, livestock and resources within the boundary. Maps can also show transient movements into or out of the project area.

Local impact indicators - how do local people define impact? Informal interviews can be used to understand local perceptions of benefits derived from health livestock.

Changes during the project - how did livestock-derived benefits change during the project, if at all? Scoring tools or proportional piling can show changes over time. These methods can also be used to look specifically at perceptions of changing disease incidence and mortality patterns.

Animal health service providers - how do people compare different types of animal health service provider? Matrix scoring can be used to compare different types of providers against indicators such as accessibility, availability, affordability and so on.

Attribution - were the changes which occurred during a project attributable to project inputs, or something else? Simple ranking methods can be used to explore attribution issues.

Useful references

Admassu, B., Nega, S., Haile, T., Abera, B., Hussein, A. and Catley, A. (2004). Impact assessment of a community-based animal health project in Dollo Ado and Dollo Bay districts, southern Ethiopia. Tropical Animal Health and Production 37/1, 33-48. For reprints contact Dr Berhanu Admassu, e-mail:

Amare Dejenu (2004). A retrospective study on the impact of community-based animal health delivery system in Shinile Zone, Somali National Regional State of Ethiopia. MSc thesis, Addis Ababa University. 114 pages. Download PDF file (file size 1.4MB)

Gezu Bekele and Jeremiah Akumu (2009). Impact assessment of the community animal health system in Mandera West, Kenya. Feinstein International Center, Tufts University, Addis Ababa. Download PDF file.

Participatory Impact Assessment Team (2002). Impact assessment of community-based animal health workers in Ethiopia; Initial experiences with participatory approaches and methods. 50 pages. Download PDF file (file size 1.35MB).

Catley, A. (1999). Monitoring and Impact Assessment of Community-based Animal Health Projects in Southern Sudan: Towards participatory approaches and methods. A report for Vétérinaires sans frontières Belgium and Vétérinaires sans frontières Switzerland. Vetwork UK, Musselburgh. Download PDF file (file size 1.14MB)

Catley, A. (2002). Monitor and assessment of community-based animal health projects. In: Community-based Animal Healthcare: A practical guide to improving primary veterinary services. ITDG Publications, London. French version available from

Catley A. and Admassu, B. (2003). Use of participatory epidemiology to assess the impact assessment of livestock diseases. Third Consultative Group Meeting on Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia. Food and Agriculture Organization, Office International des Epizooties, African Union/Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources and International Atomic Energy Agency. FAO, Rome, 12-14 November, 2003. Download PDF file (file size 166KB)

Catley, A., Abebe, D., Admassu, B., Bekele, G., Abera, B., Eshete, G., Rufael, T. and Haile, T. (2009). Impact of drought-related livestock vaccination in pastoralist areas of Ethiopia. Disasters 33/4, 665-685. Contact for reprints.

Hopkins, C. and Short, A. (2002). Participatory impact assessment in Ethiopia: linking policy reform to field experiences. PLA Notes 45, 23-28.

Nalitolela, S. and Allport, R. (2002). A participatory approach to assessing the impact of a community-based animal health project with Maasai communities in Tanzania. PLA Notes 45, 17-22.

Rubyogo, J-C., Murithii, P.M., Agumbah, G.J.O. and Obhai, G. (2004). Sustainability of a Privatised Community-Based Animal Health Worker System in Mwingi District, Kenya. Tropical Animal Health and Production. In press. For reprints contact Jean-Claude Rubyogo, e-mail:

Young, J., Stoufer, K., Ojha, N. and Dijkema, H.P. (1994). Animal Health Training - Nepal's animal healthcare improvement training programme. ITDG Publications, London.