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Transition Planning

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Transition Planning

The detailed transition plan should list the activities that are required to transition the grant and the timeline.

It should include the following:

  • All activities needed for transitioning the grant management from UNDP to one or more national entities.
  • If the transition plan is integrated with a capacity development plan, details of the capacity milestones to be achieved that will allow transition of specific activities or full functions to sustainable country systems.
  • Risk mitigation activities to improve resilience of systems and to minimise risk of moving services, in particular to avoid disruptions in treatment.

UNDP has example transition plans from carrying out transition in multiple counties, which outline activities to develop strong country systems and support transition processes, and can be adapted for the country context.

The Process for Transition Planning

Confirm the timing of transition planning

Transition planning should ideally be conducted at the beginning of a grant with the identification of a future national organisation and at the same time as capacity development planning. In this way, selected capacity development planning milestones become transition 'triggers' for certain functions.

Organise the transition planning process

Link with capacity development planning as appropriate, and confirm the approach for planning, including key responsibilities, scheduling, reviews required, and partner involvement.

Set-up management arrangements

Transition is owned both by the new national organisation and by UNDP; each organisation will need to have effective management arrangements in place to jointly control and coordinate transition activities.

Identify milestone indicators, transition scheduling, and risks

Based on the capacity development plan identify milestone indicators for transition, scheduling for transition of selected functions, and risks to be managed.

Develop an estimated budget

Detail budget requirements for transitioning functions; including, for example, file transfers, data conversion, mentoring, duplicate reporting runs, quality assurance reviews, etc.

Conduct integrated reviews

Review the transition plan and budgets with senior management, functional managers, and stakeholders to finalise, approve, and gain support.

Move toward implementation

Confirm approach, responsibilities, oversight structures and funding required to initiate and implement the transition plan.

Activities to be included in the Transition Plan

The main activities to be included in a Transition Plan involve recruiting (if required) and training the staff who will manage the grant in the future organisation, as well as ensuring clear policies and procedures in all operational areas; and training and adherence to these procedures by all staff.
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The focus should be on:

  • Establishing and staffing a dedicated department or a cross department unit that will manage the grant in the future organisation.
  • Development of Operations Manuals and Standard Operating Procedures covering all aspects of grant implementation such as finance, reporting, asset management, procurement, etc.
  • Ensuring the new grant manager has suitable software to manage finances, to collect and verify data, and to ensure a functioning Logistics Management Information System, which meet national requirements.
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Terminology: milestones
Milestones are tools used in the transition plan and its review to mark specific points along a project timeline.
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These points signal that certain capacity has been achieved, showing that the national entity is fully prepared to take responsibility for that activity or area. Although timelines should be set to achieve these milestones, they can be flexible.

The first transition milestone in each operational area is usually to put in place procedures, and systems, with sufficient training and ‘on the job’ support to meet donor requirements. The second milestone for each functional area will then measure the level of use of the systems; for example following the development of new financial reporting templates, the second milestone measures the percentage of provincial medical departments submitting financial reports on time using the new templates.

Guidance & Tools