About Metrics

Comprehensive Plan

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) charged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop a comprehensive plan to expand the technical, scientific and regulatory capacity of foreign governments—and their respective food industries—from which the foods are exported to the US. The plan was published in Feb 2013. Click here for more information.

Since its inception, the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) has conducted a multitude of training and outreach programs in collaboration with the FDA, US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service (USDA-FAS), National Government Organizations, and other partners in promoting best food safety practices. In 2012, FDA requested that JIFSAN develop and pilot evaluation tools/instruments to measure the effectiveness and impact of JIFSAN’s international capacity building training programs.

The "Metrics" program established a process to evaluate and improve the impact of JIFSAN’s training efforts by incorporating process indicators, outcome indicators, and impact indicators as described below. Figure 1 below shows how these indicators are interrelated.

Evaluation Methodology

Figure 1: Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for JIFSAN’s Metrics program

Process Indicators

Pre-training self-assessment

Provides trainers insight into the group that is about to be trained, such as what they think their skill levels are, and helps the trainers identify the specific training needs for that country/commodity/lab testing method.

Post-training self-assessment

Assesses participant’s views and satisfaction with the different components of the training, including the instructors’ teaching abilities, and contains a self-assessment of one’s understanding and readiness to implement the different components covered during the training. Provides instructors insight as to where modifications to trainings might be needed.

Outcome Indicators

Intermediate assessment post training

For JIFSAN’s train-the-trainer programs, the purpose of the intermediate assessment is to measure the multiplier effect (e.g., how many additional training events occurred within a country aimed at the farmer/grower; food processor; food inspector; or laboratory analysts); to understand which components from the training program they were able to use; and if parts were not implemented to understand why. These are currently being piloted for all the train-the-trainer courses where the process indicator tools were administered. These post training assessments will be administered 6 and 12 months after the training event.

Impact Indicators

Pre- and Post-training Factual tests

Provides a quantifiable measure on the knowledge gained during the training program. Provides insight to instructors on how to alter future training to address questions/issues missed by participants.

Long-term impact assessment

Ultimately, we want to be able to assess the spillover effects and long-term impacts that the trainings may have contributed to such as increased trade, reduced number of rejected product, reduced foodborne outbreaks traced to imported foods, and reduced foodborne outbreaks in the country exporting to the US. We propose to use existing data from sources such as the FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United Nations Comtrade (UNComtrade), and will also explore other statistical databases.