Generally, the PCE consists of three major evaluative components: process evaluation, resource tracking and impact evaluation. Each component is itself composed of several distinct methodologies. The three methodological components, and by extension the analyses that compose them, are designed to allow for triangulation of evidence across a range of evaluation topics, with each component contributing complementary information that helps answer evaluation questions more holistically.
The primary function of process evaluation is to understand the experience of countries in applying for and implementing Global Fund investments. The process evaluation incorporates a variety of methods and tools for data collection, analysis, and interpretation that are best aligned to each evaluation question. These might include key informant interviews, case studies, systems thinking approaches (theories of change, root cause analysis, causal loop diagrams) and process tracking (process maps, document review, and non-participant meeting observation).
Resource tracking includes analyses to assess topics such as resource allocation, absorption, co-financing, and reprogramming, and will serve as a pivotal component in understanding the mechanisms connecting Global Fund inputs to impact. Allocation analysis explores the distribution of resources across service delivery areas and geographic areas (within country) to understand the amount of Global Fund resources that have been dedicated to various purposes. Absorption analysis examines the difference between budget and expenditure over time, by service delivery area as well as geographically, to measure the extent and correlates of and understand constraints to absorption. Co-financing analysis explores changes in government health expenditure and the extent to which they coincide with Global Fund grants. Reprogramming analysis tracks changes in budgeting and expenditure over the course of grant-making and implementation. Resource tracking analyses are used as much as possible to objectively complement related process evaluation findings, as well as inform impact evaluation.
The impact evaluation is composed of rigorous measurement of health indicators and linkages between resources and outputs. Using data triangulation techniques and geospatial analyses, the impact evaluation measures an array of health system outputs, intervention coverage indicators and burden of disease metrics at the subnational level (where possible) and temporally. Combining these with resource tracking analyses, the impact evaluation will measure gaps in intervention coverage and the extent to which resources appear to be allocated accordingly. The impact evaluation will prospectively facilitate use of data to ensure alignment of resources to needs (e.g., burden of disease, risk) including by geography and risk group. Additionally, the impact assessment will identify opportunities to strengthen strategic information systems, especially around data quality improvement and data use and the corresponding human capacity to implement these activities.