Writing the ClASS Report - ClASS Clinical Assessment for Systems

Session Objectives
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
• Describe the purpose of the final report
• Describe the report writing timeline
• Identify effective note-taking strategies
• Identify and demonstrate best practices in
ClASS report writing
Purpose of the Report (1)
1. Documents an objective gap
– Lists strengths and
– Details findings and
– Informs work plan
Purpose of the Report (2)
2. Collects and organizes information from local level
3. Facilitates a process for funders and partners to
jointly determine readiness and ensure a successful
and sustainable transition of programs to local
4. Provides funders and partners with a capacity
assessment of the programs they support
5. Identifies existing technical assistance needs and
available resources to address those needs
6. Enables technical and organizational strengthening
Report Components
1. Table of contents
2. Acknowledgements
3. Acronyms
6. Capacity building
7. Site report(s)
4. Executive summary
8. Capacity building
5. ClASS assessment
9. Participant list
Report Writing Timeline
A good report is only as
good as the notes we take!
Note-taking Strategies (1)
1. Expand your notes as soon as
2. Write on the ClASS tool
3. Co-conduct interview if possible
4. Leave space to expand notes later
5. Take notes strategically
6. Use shorthand
Note-taking Strategies (2)
6. Use quotation marks for direct
7. Use initials to distinguish
interviewee comments from yours
8. Distinguish what is confidential
9. Cover a wide range of observations
Note-taking Strategies (3)
10.Be sure to take detailed notes
during team debriefs as well
so that any changes are
captured and make their way
into the final report.
Expanding your Notes
• Schedule time to expand notes
• Expand your shorthand to
• Compose descriptive narrative
from shorthand and key words
• Identify any questions for
• Review expanded notes and add
final comments
How to Improve? (1)
• Question: What are the necessary resources to
support the distance learning activity?
• Notes: Staff, computers and an appropriate space.
How could these notes be improved?
How to Improve? (2)
• Question: Has there been participant drop out in the
distance learning activity? Why or why not?
• Notes: Yes, some due to staff changes.
How could these notes be improved?
Integrity in Your Work
• Cite your sources.
• Try to put everything in
your own words.
• Do not cut and paste
findings and
• Pay close attention to job
titles that differ slightly
between programs or
schools. Ask for
clarification if necessary.
• Use quotation marks
when quoting directly.
Large Group Exercise
Regarding the NOA, the grantee explained that its financial policies
prohibit expenditures of grant funds until all conditions have been
lifted. [The University] has significant reserves and, therefore, is
able to support the cash needs of [The program] by paying advances
first and only drawing federal funds after the conditions have been
lifted. [The University] generally allows its funds to be used only for
ongoing activities until the NOA is finalized. In these instances
payroll continues for existing employees for example, but new hires
are not permitted; subcontracts are not signed, etc. A delay in
resolving conditions or in finalizing the budget can result in a
delayed start for planned activities and unspent funds.
Small Group Exercise
Report Writing
Best Practices (1)
• Type up your notes each
• Write your findings and
recommendations in
report format. This will
be useful for the debrief,
work plan and report.
• Avoid using names; use
job titles instead.
• Avoid writing in the first
• Make specific
recommendations for
greatest impact.
Best Practices (2)
• Include verification information to substantiate findings.
• Ensure that language and detail reflect whether
recommendations are grant requirements or simply good
• Keep sentences concise.
• Follow observations by conclusions.
• Avoid the use of phrases such as “It appears…” or “It is
• Observations should be substantiated during the
assessment, and processes used for confirmation and
verification should be documented in the report.
Key Points
• The primary purpose of the ClASS report is to produce an
objective gap analysis detailing findings and
• To collect the most accurate and relevant information,
type up your notes as soon as possible and use your own
• Specific recommendations have the potential to make the
greatest impact.
• Integrity is of utmost importance in writing the ClASS
report. Ask for clarification if needed.
• A step-by-step report writing timeline and writing guides
are available to you on www.classtoolkit.org.