The purpose of the action phase is to put the assessment’s findings and recommendations into practice. At a minimum, this may mean encouraging local actors to follow through on plans discussed at the in-country validation meeting. For assessments conducted with the goal of informing a broader health initiative, this phase will include program design and laying the groundwork for implementation. The three steps in the action phase—decide the type of action, determine the level of action, and develop an action plan—are sometimes iterative, rather than sequential, and are largely shaped by assessment findings, available resources, and local stakeholder capacity.
The action phase has three main steps, each shaped by assessment findings and recommendations, donor goals and available resources, and local stakeholder capacity. Unlike other phases in the assessment process, these are sometimes iterative, rather than sequential.
Step 1: Decide the Type of Action
The first step towards action is deciding what type of action is both indicated and feasible. The types of action following an assessment will vary depending on proposed recommendations, donor and stakeholder priorities, and the country context. The following types of action may be carried out individually or in a myriad of combinations.
Step 2: Determine the Level of Action
The level, or intensity, of follow-on actions can be categorized as high, moderate, or low. The largest determining factor may be the availability of funding, but other factors such as existence of other projects, timing, and government interest may also play a role.
Step 3: Develop an Action Plan
The action plan consolidates decisions regarding the type and level of action into a working document. With increasing frequency, an action plan, or at least a “blueprint” for action, is initiated at the in-country dissemination workshop, where the findings and recommendations of the assessment report are presented to local stakeholders for feedback and validation. This serves as a solid foundation upon which to base a plan for action, which articulates WHO will do WHAT by WHEN, with WHAT RESOURCES.
See an example of an action plan developed with stakeholders in Dominica. In the event that a dissemination workshop was not possible, or the workshop concluded with building consensus around priority recommendations, there will be more work to do at this stage.
The main output of the action phase is an action plan that outlines proposed activities, followed by actual implementation. The initial output could be a detailed concept note incorporating one or more recommendations stemming from the assessment, or a written strategy for public-private engagement. Much as assessments are varied in terms of scope, and technical and health focus—so are activities that follow an assessment. Some examples of outputs in the action phase include:
- Terms of Reference for a public-private forum or working group
- Terms of Reference for establishing a PPP unit or desk within a ministry
- Revised training curriculum for private providers
- Private health insurance policy reforms
- Establishment of a coalition of private sector stakeholders
Phase 5 Team Roles and Responsibilities