How to Create an Assessment Plan: Step-by-Step

The “steps” listed may not always happen in order.  Some steps may be completed simultaneously.  With your partner agency (STLT Medicaid or public health agency), think about how you might:

STEP 1: Engage Interest Groups

Use the Monitoring Progress and Outcomes in CDC’s 6|18 Initiativepdf iconexternal icon technical assistance brief and the Measuring the Impact of CDC’s 6|18 Initiativeexternal icon webinar to:

  • Define key audience(s) for your assessment findings and describe how they will use the findings. Example audience members: state legislators, state Medicaid agency senior leaders, public health agency senior leaders.
  • Ask your audience members what they want to learn from the assessment. If the assessment meets their needs, they are more likely to pay attention to the findings.
  • Inventory each agency’s resources so you know what resources are available for data collection and analysis.
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STEP 2: Describe the Program

In your 6|18 Action Planexternal icon, describe:

  • Activities.
  • Expected results (outputs and outcomes).
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STEP 3: Focus the Assessment Design

What do you want to know? List your questions in the Assessment Plan Templateexternal icon.


  • Did partnership activities help us do more than we could have done alone?  If so, how?
  • What processes or promising practices, if any, helped us work more effectively with our partners?
  • How did our activities help improve health outcomes (if at all)?
  • What cost impact did our activities produce (if any)?

Update your assessment plan:

  • As you gather data.
  • When your activities change.
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STEP 4: Gather Credible Evidence

Includes selecting measures

Choose indicators from the Condition-Specific Indicator Tables (for tobacco, asthma, and high blood pressure) to answer your questions.

See the Monitoring Progress and Outcomes in CDC’s 6|18 Initiativepdf iconexternal icon technical assistance brief for more information on:

  • Selecting indicators.
  • Accessing data.
  • Using existing data.
  • Establishing baselines.
  • Analyzing data.
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STEP 5: Justify conclusions

What determines what type of analysis I can/will do?

  • Assessment questions.
  • Type of data collected.
  • Audience needs.

What should I keep in mind as I interpret my results?

  • Program goals.
  • Program context.
  • Audience needs.

It is important to communicate with your audience members to confirm that you have interpreted the data correctly.

Resources: General CDC Evaluation Resources

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STEP 6: Ensure use and share lessons learned

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