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Formative Research for Behavioral and Community Interventions

East Baltimore
4th term
International Health
4 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
Class Times:
  • M F,  10:30 - 11:50am
Lab Times:
  • Friday,  9:00 - 10:20am
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor s:
Elli Leontsini

A behavior change course such as 224.689, 221.688, 410.600, or similar, and a qualitative course such as 224.690, 410.710, 550.604 or similar; or consent of the instructor


Examines how to conduct formative research and use its findings in the many stages of developing designing, implementing and evaluating public health interventions. Discusses cross-cutting issues in study design, community entry and involvement, data sharing and use, as well as staff development and supervision. Draws parallels with implementation and translational research and with human centered design. Presents and explores case studies of multi-method formative research, and the use of the data collected to develop more effective behavioral and community interventions. Examples presented and analyzed include programs to prevent and control HIV/AIDS, malaria, dengue hemorrhagic fever, diarrhea and neonatal mortality in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Formulate formative research questions appropriate for each stage in intervention design and evaluation process
  2. Identify appropriate guiding theories and methodologies, and integrate them into a formative research protocol
  3. Prepare for coordinating a formative research component in the field, including capacity building, and sharing of data with community and partners in forums and meetings
  4. Review, learn and critique current theories and methodologies taken, and ways in which data are utilized, in selected case studies
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 5% Quizzes
  • 20% Exam(s)
  • 75% Written formative research protocol

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent is required if prerequisites are not met.

For consent, contact: