This independent evaluation was conducted to inform NZMFAT and LMNZ about the progress to date of the Bougainville Healthy Community Program; the lessons learned; and suggestions for future design of a next five-year phase and implications for rollout in PNG. The evaluation focused on village level assessments in 19 villages and hamlets in four Districts, through consultation with communities, Chiefs, Village Health Volunteers, District Facilitators, District Authorities; and key informant interviews with ABG, NDOH, other Donor Partners and NGOs. Over 30 relevant documents and data were reviewed.
Findings indicate that this is a highly effective public health/community development model which has been well planned and well executed. It is rare to see such a holistic logic in a project, that has been effectively implemented within the enormous constraints and challenges of a post-conflict setting. One of the strengths of the Program is the willingness over the years, to evolve and adapt as lessons are learned. Communities and individuals have changed and improved their health behaviours as a result of the BHCP activities and interventions. With a shortage of health workers, Village Health Volunteers play an important role in referrals to health centres for key conditions such as TB, malaria and leprosy. Along with Chiefs, they also mobilise communities for preventive measures such as immunisation, and can play a greater role in encouraging health seeking behaviour for antenatal care, birthing in health facilities and testing for STIs and HIV. It is a critical time to build on the keen interest and momentum for change within the ABG and communities, and to develop the right linkages and partnerships for the future development of Bougainville.