Monitoring the Implementation of Connecting for Life, Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015-2020
A successful system for monitoring implementation delivers timely and relevant information that allows strategy leads and implementers to track progress and make adjustments to implementation arrangements as necessary. Such a system must track progress in a deliberate and systematic manner at regular intervals across all stages of implementation.
During Q2 and Q3, 2017, the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Team initiated a new monitoring system to track the implementation of Connecting for Life (CfL). Prior to this new systemCfL lead action agents were required to report on implementation activity retrospectively and not requested to forward plan on activity. The updated CfL monitoring system included the development of ‘Implementation Monitoring Dashboards’, informed by the literature - a ‘Dashboard’ is produced for each CfL lead agent which consists of the actions for which they have responsibility to lead on. The ‘Dashboard’ also includes the yearly action milestones as set out in the Connecting for Life Implementation Plan 2017-2020. Each quarter, NOSP circulates these ‘Dashboards’ to lead agents, requesting an update on key milestone activity by action from the previous quarter as well as requesting an outline on activity planned to take place in the next quarter, thus a retrospective and prospective monitoring process is in place.
As part of the quarterly reporting process, an update is requested on each action milestone as to whether the milestone is On Track, Needs Attention or Off Track to being achieved in the year as well as an update on the ‘Implementation Stage’ of the milestones based on the Centre for Effective Services four stages of implementation:
- Stage 1: Exploring and Preparing (and assessing readiness for change)
- Stage 2: Planning and Resourcing (and preparing for change)
- Stage 3: Implementing and Operationalising
- Stage 4: Business as usual
Each quarter, lead agents are also requested to highlight any ‘Issues Arising’ which may be hindering the implementation of CfL actions which are brought to the attention of members of the CfL National Cross Sectoral Steering and Implementation Group for discussion and resolution, if possible. Based on information received in the Dashboards, a report is produced each quarter. A bi-annual implementation progress report (published in July and December) gives a more detailed analysis of overall implementation activity and a report focusing primarily on ‘red flag’ issues as well as an overview of implementation progress is published in April and October.
Implementation progress reports based on the updated monitoring system are available here: