The start-up stage of the IEA involves initial contacts between the participating organizations in the IEA, the determination of the need for the assessment, securing the necessary mandate and establishing the scale and feasibility of securing funding to carry out the work.
The management of this stage may vary according to the institutional structures in any given country. For instance, in small countries with limited resources, the process needs to be kept simple.
At this stage, it is important to decide which institutions need to be involved in the process, based on their statutory responsibilities, and also, who will manage the process. Once the lead and participating or technical support institutions are identified, the first start-up meetings are held to define the national IEA goals, and the responsibilities of the parties.
Outputs at this stage include a conceptual framework and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the parties involved in the IEA process. The conceptual framework is prepared with input by the national environmental authority and the core team. The description of the conceptual framework also describes what the IEA and its goals are, its general organization, methodology, the IEA process, guidance for implementation, the resources required, and clarifies whether further fund-raising or in-kind contributions are needed.