The purpose of the planning phase is to design and prepare for the assessment. Conducting an assessment is typically the first stage of a larger effort to engage the private sector and raise awareness about its potential contribution to advancing national health goals. As such, the planning phase is the first opportunity to reach out to stakeholders and build relationships. Your goal should be to get a sense of the key actors and local dynamics, begin to make connections, and identify ways to build support for the action phase.
The first step of the planning process is to work with the donor to draft a scope of work. Drafting the scope of work begins with a series of conversations with the donor—and in some cases other local stakeholders—to shape the direction of the assessment, covering priorities, parameters, key stakeholders, potential challenges, and intended use of the findings. In some cases the donor may take on the task of drafting the scope, although, more often, the organization tasked with conducting the assessment creates the first draft. This gives the donor something to react to, and a process of refinement follows.
Selecting the right team to carry out the assessment is critical. While individual characteristics, such as relevant expertise and country familiarity, are important, an equally important consideration is how the individuals will function as a team, as an assessment is at its core a team endeavor.
The assessment team typically includes a team leader, a team coordinator, subject-matter experts and/or local health sector experts, and a local logistics coordinator.
- International members include employees or consultants engaged by the firm carrying out the assessment, and sometimes representatives from the donor organization.
- Local members reside in the country where the assessment is taking place. They should have a deep understanding of context, a network of contacts, and the ability to speak the local language(s).
Ultimately, the size and composition of the team depends on the scope of work, country context, and available budget. A typical team consists of three to six people.
Stakeholders representing both the private and public health sectors are integral to the assessment. The level of stakeholder involvement may range from minimal to extensive, often as a function of assessment objectives, time frame, and available budget. At a minimum, stakeholders participate as key informants, sharing their perspectives, insights, and even concerns about the private health sector. As the assessment process has evolved, local stakeholders have played a greater role, ranging from providing input and direction to the assessment, to participating in fieldwork, and validating findings and helping to prioritize recommendations.
After thoroughly vetting the goal and objectives of the assessment with the donor and other key stakeholders—keeping in mind constraints related to timing and budget—you’re ready to finalize the scope of work. This should include deciding on the team, confirming dates for fieldwork, identifying key deliverables, and securing donor approval. Send the final scope of work to all key stakeholders and members of the assessment team—this will provide a shared framework for the learning phase. With local stakeholders identified and timing of the fieldwork firmed up, it is now possible to start scheduling interviews and site visits for the fieldwork step.
At this point, the team will be confirmed—so you can update the “Assessment Team” section from general roles to specific members. Starting with the team lead, followed by members according to level of seniority, include a bio for each member, outlining the number of years worked in their area of expertise, country or regional experience, professional qualifications, and planned role in the assessment.
- Final scope of work (click here for an example scope of work from Botswana)
- Preliminary fieldwork schedule
Phase 1 Team Roles and Responsibilities