ClASS Overview

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Purpose of the ClASS Framework

  • Assess capacity of USG-supported programs
  • Identify technical assistance needs and available resources
  • Facilitate a process to determine next steps
  • Be adaptable to country and program specific needs

What Is ClASS? (Adapted from Appreciative Inquiry)


ClASS Assessment Objectives

  • Ensure that organizational systems, policies, and procedures are in place to accomplish stated program goals and objectives
  • Assess the organization’s capacity to provide the funded services and manage funding
  • Identify systems strengthening to enable organizations to enhance and sustain their programs and service delivery
  • Identify program strengths and challenges and provide appropriate consultation to enhance capacity to provide quality services

The ClASS Process


  • Phase I: Initiation & Scope
  • Phase II: Planning & Preparation
  • Phase III: Implementation
  • Phase IV: Reporting & Evaluation
  • Phase V: Technical Assistance & Action Planning

Intiation & Scope

Collaboration begins in the initial phase of the ClASS process. During this phase the organization that will be receiving a ClASS visit should work closely with the Project Officer to define the scope of the assessment, the specific objectives for the visit and any priority areas or needs that the program or Project Officer would like for the ClASS reviewers to address.

Planning & Preparation

In Phase II the Planning and Preparation begin. The Scope of Work that you have assisted in finalizing will be used to identify a team of expert reviewers. You may be contacted with requests for letters of invitation, hotel suggestions, translation services, or other assistance with logistics. Documents requested on the advanced document list should be gathered and sent to the Project Officer as far in advanced as possible to give the review team the opportunity for a thorough review. The pre-ClASS conference call with the team is an opportunity to clarify the remaining documents needed, identify the staff that will be interviewed during the ClASS visit and other details that will help to ensure that the visit is as efficient and productive as possible. The planning and preparation phase includes:

  • Finalize scope of work
  • Identify best matched consultant team to Scope of Work
  • Recruit Consultants
  • Begin logistic preparations for team
  • Conduct conference calls with the Program and the Team


  • Conduct entrance meeting with in-country USG team/implementing partners
  • Conduct ClASS / interviews
  • Conduct exit conference with in-country USG team/implementing partners

Entrance Presentation

An opening session will be held at the start of each ClASS review. The opening session allows the review team to meet with the grantee leadership and staff. When possible, a soft copy of the presentation should be made available for the assessment team. Presentations should provide an overview as well as highlights, the assessment team will gather details during the review. Important elements to include in the entrance presentation include; Brief synopsis of program history/background information, program/project aims, governance structure, organizational structure (represented by an organogram), grants management and program monitoring activities. Try and limit the presentation to 30 minutes, covering an overview of the program and program highlights.

Reporting & Evaluation

Before departing, the assessment team will provide an “Exit Presentation” going over the priority areas for improvement identified by the review team. Following this presentation, the team will help to facilitate a work or action planning session that identifies a responsible person and a timeframe for completing each of the activities identified. This is an initial draft of the final workplan which will then be finalized between the Project Officer and Program Leadership to ensure that all priority areas are addressed. An initial draft report will be circulated for program feedback. Final report to be received within 90 days of assessment visit As a part of continuous quality improvement efforts, ClASS participants identified by the reviewers and senior program staff, will be selected to complete an online survey to solicit feedback on the ClASS process, the performance of the review team, and any comments or suggestions on how to improve the implementation of ClASS.

  • Synthesize Program Strengths Opportunities for Improvement
  • Develop recommendations for final report
  • Share draft with partners and sites for comments
  • Collect feedback from all participants in the process via online survey
  • Finalize report and share with CDC and local partners

Technical Assistance & Action Planning

Following the ClASS Assessment, the Project Manager may work with the program to coordinate and monitor the work/action plan activities agreed upon following the assessment

  • Work with implementing partners to develop Action Plans based on assessment Opportunities for Improvement
  • Identify existing technical assistance resources

The ClASS framework has been piloted, refined, and structured for quality improvement. The approach is supported by the prepared implementation, training, and project management resources. These materials, in addition to the modular tools, are all available online.