Evaluation of the DILS Grant Programs in Serbia

EHG was appointed by the Ministry of Health in Serbia to carry out an independent evaluation of the 4 grants under the Delivery of Improved Local Services (DILS) Project which aims to increase access to health care to vulnerable groups, improve overall quality of health care, and strengthen information and communication technologies. The technical assistance was financed by the World Bank and took place from May to September 2014.  

A multidisciplinary evaluation team lead by Dr sc. med Sanja Matovic Miljanovic (team leader), along with Prof Dr Vesna Bjegovic (health quality improvement expert), Prof Dr Dejana Vukovic (public health expert), Vesna Urosevic (medical informatics expert,) and Vladimir Urosevic (IT expert) employed a mix of quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods guided by the OECD/DAC criteria of impact, along with relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of grant programs. The evaluation team conducted a comprehensive desk review, designed and implemented an online survey administrated by health managers of 158 Primary Health Facilities in Serbia; conducted interviews with the Ministry of Health and other key stakeholders (Health Insurance Fund, Agency for Accreditation, etc.), as well as with beneficiaries; and visited selected health facilities to observe grant implementation results and achievements

The team concluded that there were substantial improvements in strengthening health service capacity in Serbia including availability, efficiency, equity and delivery of services at the local level. They also recommended that particular attention should be given to a) strengthening of local government authorities to understand the role of local governments within the health care system, b) clearly defining Serbia’s integrated health care system management process with a focus on efficient planning, monitoring and evaluation, and c)  strengthening factors enhancing the sustainability of the projects, such as legal and financial frameworks and organised promotion of good practice examples.