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It is important to start any transformation process, or new phase of a process, with an assessment in order to clarify the objectives, identify the current situation and, not least, to identify and engage stakeholders in the process.


As mentioned in the previous step stakeholder engagement is a critical part of the entire capacity development process. For specific guidance related to stakeholder engagement please refer to the previous step.  The decision to do an assessment is often the result of a perception that the performance, stability and adaptability of one or more institutions need to be improved. From the outset, the assessment exercise needs an Assessment Owner, whose role it is to manage the process and facilitate the stakeholder dialogue.


Assessment overview


Objectives and expectations

The overall objectives and expectations for the assessment need to be clarified.


Discussions should result in an overall objective for the assessment exercise. Sample statement: "To measure progress since earlier assessment exercises of the national procurement system and form baseline against which to measure future progress".


It is important to be clear as to what the assessment results are to be used for. Moreover, the scale and scope of the assessment are key considerations: Whose capacities need to be assessed? What capacities need to be assessed?

There is a tendency to want to measure the whole spectrum of capacities, but resources and relevance for the purpose, priorities and expectations must be kept in mind. Available resources and the ability to mobilize additional resources are key considerations.


Designing the assessment

The next stage is to figure out how these capacities will be assessed. A new framework can be developed, but generally the most practical solution is to use an existing framework, adapting it if necessary. Later sections provide detailed information depending on whether the focus of the assessment is on the Country Context, National Procurement System, Entities and Sector or Individual, or indeed a combination. Most assessment frameworks consist of a series of indicators, often with ranking schemes included.


Involving stakeholders in the design phases can ensure that the process is well adapted to the actual needs and that the results will be relevant and useful. However it also provides an opportunity to reinforce stakeholder commitment to the results and can provide an opportunity to develop their capacities. Last, but not least, engagement with stakeholders can ensure that the process is well integrated with other processes that are taking place.


Planning the assessment

Some of the issues that need to be considered when planning an assessment include who is going to conduct the assessment and how it is going to be conducted. The size of an assessment team will depend on the scale and scope of the assessment as well as the resources available.


 Download the file "Sample Terms of Reference for an assessment" to support your work.

Regardless of the size and scope of the assessment a work plan should be drawn up for the assessment detailing the outputs to be achieved, activities, due dates and roles and responsibilities. This work plan provides the basis for estimating the costs of the assessment.


Assessment team roles

There are various roles needed in an assessment team though each role does not need to be performed by a different person (e.g. one person could play the role of both facilitator and procurement expert).


Specific assessment team roles:

  • Facilitator: to manage the process and facilitate discussions on the design and conduct of the assessment, as well as the analysis of results.
  • Context Expert: familiar with the political and socio-economic environment in which the assessment is being conducted.
  • Procurement Expert: With procurement knowledge relevant for the assessment. Depending on the context, this may need to include sector-specific procurement experience or experts in cross cutting issues such as legal or audit.
  • Administration & logistics: Making appointments and taking care of administrative tasks related to the assessment.

Considerations for selecting individuals for the assessment team roles:




UNDP CDG Capacity Assessment Practice Note

Methodology for Assessment of National Procurement Systems

Sample Terms of Reference for an Assessment

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