As mentioned, it is important to consider how you will evaluate the exercise. A key component of the evaluation approach relates to the goal of your specific exercise. Exercises can be designed to test out whether a plan or approach works, to determine if employees understand their role in disaster response, or to address a gap identified as part of a hazards analysis. Key questions to answer with your evaluation approach might be:
- Did the exercise result in changes in understanding of pediatric preparedness concepts?
- Did participants report changes in knowledge or confidence because of the exercise?
- Did the exercise lead to increased skills?
- Were there changes in reported communications between critical stakeholders or participants because of the exercise?
- Was there an increase in pediatric preparedness efforts after the exercise, such as enacting changes in local planning, additional pediatric exercises, incorporation of pediatric considerations into preparedness plans, or building of community partnerships?
- Was the exercise perceived as successful or helpful?
Once the goals or the focus of the evaluation is determined, then you can decide on the approach, such as a pre- and post-evaluation survey, in-person hotwash, after-action discussion, etc.
American Academy of Pediatrics