The steps in the initiation phase are:
1. Take the decision to proceed with the evaluation based on assessment of the needs of the country and the usefulness of an evaluation in meeting those needs.
2. Assign responsibility for the conduct of the evaluation.
3. Identify supporting and participating agencies, both national and international.
4. Set the dates for the evaluation.
1. Take the decision to proceed with the evaluation. Prior to initiating an evaluation, it is essential that the needs of the country be identified and chat careful consideration be given to the role an evaluation might play in meeting those needs. In the past, evaluations have been quite useful because they provide an opportunity:
(a) to measure the progress made towards implementation of an essential drugs programme in terms of the extent to which well defined goals for improvement of availability of drugs, accessibility of drugs, proper use of drugs, client satisfaction and community involvement have been achieved.
(b) to identify obstacles to continued progress, and identify those elements which are developing well and according to plan;
(c) to identify areas where research needs to be conducted in order to improve the programme;
(d) to validate routinely monitoring data regarding programme implementation in the country; and
(e) to gather data not normally a part of a country's information system, especially data on the process of implementation not easily codified in routine data collection systems.
2. Assign responsibility for the evaluation
In order to increase the probability of success of an evaluation, it is advisable to assign clear responsibilities for the evaluation to appropriate individuals and the steering committee of the programme.
3. Identify supporting and participating agencies
One factor which has contributed to the success of completed evaluations is the diversity and breadth of the team ultimately charged with carrying out the evaluation. Early on, it is advisable to identify all international agencies and any non - governmental organizations who play a role in the delivery of essential drugs. These groups should be informed of the intention to do the evaluation and, where appropriate, efforts should be made to secure commitments as to their participation.
4. Set the dates for the evaluation
It is imperative that the dates of the evaluation are set as early as possible. Because of the many scheduling difficulties and logistical obstacles which arise in any programme evaluation, it is essential that dates be fixed early in the process GO that work on resolving the practical problems associated with the evaluation can proceed in a definitive way.
A most important date is that of the post-evaluation meeting (section 6.3) at which high-level officials act on the findings of the evaluation in reformulating policy and reshaping the plan of action for implementation. The commitment of the appropriate officials to dedicate adequate time to the post-evaluation meeting must be secured well ahead if the meeting is to be held on schedule and without interference from the routine demands of government service.