Framework and methodology for evaluating mental health policy and plans
The importance of monitoring and evaluation for mental health service planning and delivery is indubitable. Notwithstanding, monitoring and evaluation of mental health policy and plans has received only limited attention. This paper presents an approach developed by the World Health Organization for monitoring mental health policy and plans that can be adapted and utilized for evaluation and monitoring of policy and plans in most other health spheres as well. Four critical areas are outlined i.e., evaluation of the policy document and the plan derived from it; monitoring the implementation of the strategic plan; evaluation of the implementation of the plan; and evaluation of whether the objectives of the policy have been achieved. Overcoming difficulties in objective assessment of policy documents and plans is discussed and two WHO checklists for evaluating the process, content and operational aspects of policies and plans are introduced together with a five step guidance process for conducting policy and plan evaluations. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.