During the sharing phase, the team draws on external reviewers to strengthen and finalize the assessment report. The team may also seek input from local stakeholders to ensure the validity of the findings and recommendations. Increasingly this has been accomplished through in-country consultations with a cross-section of stakeholders that participated in the assessment. After feedback has been received and changes incorporated, the report is published—ideally, shared with all stakeholders and made publicly available on the web.
Step 1: Disseminate Draft Report
The first step in the sharing phase is to disseminate the “master draft” for external review, preferably by reviewers who have strong technical expertise or country-specific knowledge of the material covered in the report. Reviewers should be able to identify whether the findings are plausible and whether the recommendations are actionable given the country context.
External reviewers usually include experts from any organizations that provided financial or technical support to the team during the assessment process. Reviewers could include representatives from USAID headquarters or country missions, the World Bank and International Finance Corporation, other donors, and local or regional organizations—including the Ministry of Health and private sector organizations. After each round of reviews, the team lead and team coordinator should work with the experts on the specific subject matter, or local private sector experts, to incorporate feedback into their respective sections.
Step 2: Validate and Prioritize
After disseminating the draft report for external review, teams typically engage a wider range of local stakeholders to validate and prioritize the assessment’s findings and recommendations. Convening local stakeholders to provide input through an in-country consultation has emerged as a best practice. This step is designed to draw on local knowledge and insights, and identify which of the recommendations are most feasible and should be prioritized as this effort moves from assessment to action.
If funding is available, teams can organize a one- or two-day workshop for stakeholders representing all sectors—public, nonprofit, and commercial, as well as the donor community. This workshop builds local ownership and results in a prioritized list of actions. A sample agenda provides an overview of the typical sequence and content of these meetings.
Step 3: Finalize the Report
Once the team has received comments from all reviewers, as well as from in-country workshop participants, it is time to finalize the report. The authors of each respective section are asked to make any necessary edits, although the team coordinator commonly tracks and consolidates all the revisions in a single document. Reports will benefit from professional editing to improve grammar, readability, and consistency, as well as formatting in accordance with the project or donor’s branding guidelines.
Step 4: Review and Archive
Once the report is final, recommended practice is to conduct an after-action review. The purpose of this step is to learn from each assessment, and advance practice. The team leader convenes a meeting (local private sector experts and the logistics consultant can be included virtually, if feasible) to review each phase of the assessment process and identify:
- What worked?
- What failed?
- Where were the unexpected obstacles? How did the team address them?
- What approaches or resources facilitated the assessment process?
- What was learned?
- How might the Assessment to Action guide be improved?
Capture feedback using sticky notes and then take photographs of the collective notes afterwards—this can facilitate summarizing the results of the discussion.
- Final Assessment Report
- Report from In-Country Consultation (if applicable)
Phase 4 Team Roles and Responsibilities