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Sigma Strategy Toolkit

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This resource provides advice as well as tools for those involved in the development and implementation of public administration reform and sector strategies. It guides users through each stage of the development, implementation, monitoring and overall management of strategies. It covers:

problem analysis; prioritisation of reform ambitions;
setting of objectives; definition of indicators (with baselines and targets); action planning and costing; implementation monitoring, reporting and evaluation; management and learning.



Discipline or practice

Public Policy

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2 reviews for "Sigma Strategy Toolkit"

  1. Sean Currie says:

    This toolkit was extremely useful, though notably we used it in a different way than it was designed for. While the toolkit is designed for being used step-by-step from the start of a process, we used it as an ex post (i.e. after the fact) evaluation of a specific national policy as an academic exercise.

    The Toolkit is well laid out and formatted, with key terms and processes clearly defined and identifiable by their being in bold. This was perfect for our use.

    The areas we looked at were easily understandable and flowed logically. For example, it was made clear how problem analysis informs objectives, which later inform evaluation, and so on. This is presumably even clearer if the toolkit is followed sequentially.

    The glossary is a useful way of briefly gauging how the authors understand commonly used terms (e.g. “objective”) but it could be expanded to include more specific concepts that the toolkit proposes (e.g. “general & specific objectives”) for those who don’t use the entire toolkit sequentially.

    The two main negative points of the toolkit are related to “stakeholders”, which is of central importance to the process. Firstly, it is not defined early on, which means it’s difficult to know how the authors understand this term without looking first at the glossary (which is not clearly signposted). Secondly, the binary distinction between internal and external stakeholders is quite difficult to use in certain situations. For example, are local authorities external or internal stakeholders in a national administration. Therefore, we prefer to change this element to consider it as a spectrum, rather than X or Y categories.

    Overall, though, this is an excellent toolkit for anyone working on policy design.

  2. We used this toolkit while working on a case study that addressed the evaluation of a call for project in favour of organic farming in Nicaragua.
    In my opinion, there are too few toolkits regarding the evaluation process of public policies. Among the very few toolkits addressing this topic, two resources were available only in Spanish, so we used this toolkit by default. It turned to be useful, although it is meant to be used during a whole process (preparation, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation) we only used it for the last step.
    The toolkit is easily understandable. Some useful insights could be applied to our case study, such as the five evaluation criteria and the very concrete questions to be answered for each one of them. We mostly focused on the effectiveness, the efficiency and the impact of the program, by seeking to answer questions such as “To what extent were objectives achieved or are likely to be achieved?”, “Is the action/activity cost efficient?”, “How were the various target groups affected?” etc.
    The glossary is useful, yet it could be more detailed and specific in my opinion considering the range of key terms used throughout the toolkit.
    As the toolkit concerns public administration reform (PAR) exclusively, its usefulness is limited to policy design.

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