A post occupancy evaluation (POE) was conducted at the Ngeruka Health Center (NHC) in the Bugesera District of Rwanda. The POE was limited to the education spaces within the health center, its participants, and staff. A POE is a combination of methods both quantitative and qualitative to determine user satisfaction and whether the design intent of the built environment was met.
In rural Rwanda where healthcare facilities are scarce and people become seriously ill from preventable diseases, help is needed. The smallest injuries become life threatening. Healthcare facilities and providers must develop approaches that stop these minor illnesses and diseases from costing further problems.
The healthcare facility is a healing environment. Healing environments nurture health and provide a sense of safety and security. The Ngeruka facility has incorporated education spaces within their facility to teach the community ways to prevent minor health problems from becoming major ones.
The research that was conducted at this healthcare facility sought to answer the main questions: Does the built environment of the NHC contribute to healing by engaging education program attendees to learn about preventing illness and disease and other health promotion strategies? In addition, can you measure healing effects of the built environment?
The research took measurements of the built environment and combined them with user satisfaction questionnaires. Site observations and a participant engagement questionnaire were used to determine the amount of engagement the participants put forth into the education programs within the designated design space. Measuring engagement is a tool schools use to find out if their facilities are producing their intended results. This same thought process was incorporated into this research. The participants did prove to be engaged, but it is not definitive that the built environment was responsible. It was a combination of many factors.