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Surveillance Evaluation Tool (SET)

Strong animal disease surveillance systems protect communities' livelihoods and prevent epidemics from zoonotic pathogens


SET is a tool that allows for the comprehensive and comparative assessment of a country's surveillance system for animal diseases, including zoonoses. The objectives of SET evaluations are to:

  1. Evaluate a country's animal disease surveillance system to support the development of a locally-relevant action plan for improvement;
  2. Use a standardized and reproducible tool to monitor progress of the system over time.

SET was largely based on the OASIS tool from French agency ANSES. The final toolkit includes components from other tools used by FAO such as the Laboratory Mapping Tool (LMT), the Epidemiology Mapping Tool (EMT).

Development and implementation of the SET toolkit was made possible by funding from USAID under the GHSA project.


SET allows for the evaluation of animal diseases surveillance systems along 90 indicators, divided into 19 categories and 7 areas.


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Based on interviews with relevant stakeholders at all levels of the surveillance system, a score is given (1-4), along with a justification, reflecting the system's progress for each indicator.

Two types of outputs are automatically generated (click on images for larger versions):

1. Core competencies of the system assessing progress along each of the categories and areas above.


2. Performance attributes of the surveillance system based on international norms


A detailed report is drafted for each SET mission, which highlights the evaluation’s findings and action plan for improvement of the surveillance system.


SET missions usually last 10-12 days and can be done either externally, led by FAO staff from outside the country, or as a self-assessment done by local staff trained in the evaluation methodology.

Evaluation teams typically consist of 3-10 members from FAO (headquarter, regional, local offices) as well as staff from the local veterinary services and/or laboratories. The team may divide into several groups to cover more area of a country.

SET missions consist of several phases:

  1. Preparation with members of the evaluation team to identify stakeholders to be interviewed, areas to visit and organize the logistics of the mission.
  1. A launching meeting where the toolkit and evaluation methodology are presented to key deciders of the surveillance system. These may include representatives from ministries and major stakeholders like veterinarians, financial/technical partners or famers associations.
  1. Interviews with stakeholders to gain thorough insight on the surveillance system. Many stakeholders involved in animal disease surveillance are interviewed at the central, intermediary and field levels. These may include: livestock owners, abattoir workers, border post staff, field agents, laboratory staff, representatives from health and wildlife ministries and more.
  1. A scoring meeting where the information gathered during interviews is entered into the SET Excel toolkit and outputs are generated.
  1. Development of a locally-relevant action plan for improvement involving all members of the evaluation team. This activity is supported by a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threat (SWOT) analysis and an impact/feasibility assessment for each recommendation.
  1. A conclusion/restitution meeting where key decision-makers are briefed on the mission’s findings and recommendation. This is the opportunity to get the first feedback on the recommendations identified to ensure their relevance to the country.
  1. Post-mission items, such as the development of the evaluation report.

If you are interested in conducting evaluation using the SET toolkit or learning more about the project, please contact us at the emails listed on this page


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Click figure to enlarge - Map last update: April 2019


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