Counselor Training Evaluation



To evaluate and improve counselor-client interactions.


These assessment tools are designed to help program managers improve the quality of family planning counseling by enhancing service provider interpersonal communication skills. A set of four evaluation instruments provide managers with information about service provider strengths and weaknesses in counseling clients through a combination of first-hand observation and highly structured interviews. The first two instruments focus directly on counselor-client interactions, and user the GATHER model of counseling. The third instrument is a questionnaire directed toward service providers, and collects data on the providers’ experiences, training, exposure to mass media broadcasts, and use of IEC materials. The fourth instrument is a study site observation guide used to indicate the availability of family planning methods at the site, inventory IEC materials, and observe a group talk.

Developed by:

Johns Hopkins University Population Communication Services (JHU/PCS), 1991-1995.

Intended Users:

Evaluators and technical staff in donor agencies, and in-country host institutions/organizations at the national level and in networks of clinics.


Used by the Family Planning Association of Kenya in 1993, with technical assistance from JHU/PCS, as part of a long-term IEC project. Used in Zimbabwe in 1995 by the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council, with technical assistance from JHU/PCS, as part of a project to evaluate and improve the quality of family planning counseling services provided to young clients. The tool has also been used in Mexico, Ghana, and Nigeria.


Can be used to assess proficiency in counseling skills and pinpoint areas for further training; observation checklists are a comprehensive way to appraise counselors in a clinic or health care setting. The instruments are flexible enough to be adapted to suit local circumstances and to reflect the particular delivery system, cultural context, local concerns, and research objectives.


Only useful as an evaluation tool; does not provide training materials to correct any weaknesses or reinforce any strengths detected. Explanation of how to analyze the tool results is not provided.

Recommendations for Users:

Make sure to adapt tools to fit particular situation and purpose. Pretest the revised version before using it as an evaluation tool.

Reports and Publications:

Kim, Y.M., Lettenmaier, C. 1995. "Tools to Assess Family Planning Counseling: Observation and Interview." IEC Research Tools. The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs.

Kim, Y.M., Marangwanda, C., Kols, A. 1997. "The quality of counseling young clients in Zimbabwe." To appear in The East African Medical Journal.

Kim, Y.M., Lettenmaier, C.L., Odallo, D., Thuo, M., Khasiani, S. "Haki Yako: a Client-Provider Information, Education, and Communication Project in Kenya," IEC Field Report Number 8. Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Baltimore, Maryland, December 1996.

Johns Hopkins University Population Communication Services (JHU/PCS) and Family Planning Association of Kenya (FPAK), 1992. "Quality of family planning counseling for community-based distribution agents and clinic health providers in Kenya." Presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. Washington, DC. November.

Guidelines, observation checklist, and interview questionnaires are in English.


Dr. Young Mi Kim
Johns Hopkins University
Population Communication Services (JHU/PCS)
527 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 659-6300