I have not found that the event first if you just set selectedIndex, and that it is best to fire off the event (or just call the event handler with a null event object if you are not bothered about the event arguments).
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valueCommit dispatched always and if the selectionIndex is really changes - change event
In answer to your question, yes, the change event is dispatched when the selectedIndex or selectedItem property changes as a result of user interaction, and it should also be dispatched when you change the selectedIndex or selectedItem properties programmatically.
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Should be, but actually - NOT when changed programmatically
One need to dispatch it manually ...