Strategic Planning

Strategic planning involves identifying and prioritising the activities necessary to address social needs and grouping these into programmes. Indicators are developed to track performance in implementing activities, producing outputs and realising outcomes.

a) Government officials identify activities to meet prioritised needs (identified during the needs assessment process). A coherent Theory of Change is developed to explain how these activities, grouped into programmes, will produce outputs that will realise priority needs (outcomes) over a medium-term planning cycle. This Theory of Change is based on a rigorous baseline analysis which includes a detailed analysis of the current organisational capacity of government officials and institutions.

b) A draft strategic plan is produced, which provides a detailed indication of the financial resources (budget) and human resources (qualified staff), and infrastructural requirements needed to implement planned activities, set out per programme.

c) Measurable performance indicators (aligned with the realisation of priority needs) are identified for the implementation of activities, the production of outputs and realisation of outcomes, per programme.

d) The draft strategic plan is widely and timeously disseminated for public inputs and subjected to rigorous and inclusive evidence-based negotiation prior to being adopted.

e) Civil society groups obtain copies of draft plans and assess the coherence of planned programmes and the plausibility of the proposed Theory of Change and engage with government officials during the various stages of the planning process in an attempt to have their interests reflected in finalised strategic plans.

a) Government officials explain and justify the prioritisation of proposed activities within strategic plans (intended to meet priority social needs) and engage with civil society groups, who assess the explanations and justifications offered for planning decisions, and call for the amendment of theories of change and re-prioritisation of planned activities (where these are not aligned with priority needs); proposed activities are re-prioritised and plans are amended on the basis of evidence.

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