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Program Design and Evaluation Services (PDES)

Research and Evaluation for Public Health Programs

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Program Design and Evaluation Services (PDES) is an interagency research and evaluation unit established over 25 years ago within Multnomah County Health Department and Oregon Public Health Division. We are committed to partnering with clients to promote healthy communities and reduce health disparities. We aim to actively demonstrate our program’s values of collaboration, equity, flexibility, and integrity in each of our projects.

  • Our team includes public health policy researchers, epidemiologists, statisticians, and social scientists; project managers and research analysts; and expert interviewers. These scientific staff have been here an average of 13 years.
  • We are skilled at and experienced with a full range of applied research methods, both quantitative and qualitative. These include community-based participatory research, key informant interviews, focus groups, multilevel modeling, complex survey analyses, economic analyses, and case studies, among others. 

Featured Story

PDES centers values in building trust with community partners

As a result of applying an equity lens on our evaluation work, PDES has been using different approaches when collaborating with community members as evaluation partners. One approach involved using a values-based exercise at the beginning of the community engagement process. Specifically, PDES supported the evaluation of the Community Health Improvement Planning process, a partnership between Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA) and Multnomah County Health Department. Midway through the evaluation, we engaged a small group of community members on the qualitative analysis. Community members were given a stipend as compensation. Because this was the first time we had worked together, we began with an exercise to identify our professional and personal values. This process of identifying our values, built trust and fostered a sense of safety and transparency in the group dynamics, which in turn strengthened the analytic process and improved the overall evaluation. 

This process proved so beneficial that all PDES staff collaborated to identify internal organizational values that guide all of our work. The values we collectively identified, focus on collaboration, equity, flexibility, and integrity. These values are described in more detail here.