A well-aligned strategic plan exists and is disseminated

The fit between an organization's strategy and its mission and stakeholder needs

A strategy is the long-term plan according to which an organization aims to reach its goals and objectives through a series of activities, inputs, and results. "Well-aligned" means that the strategy fits the organization's mission and the needs of clients (existing and potential), within its policy and service-delivery environment.


Evidence of a written strategy; evidence of the quality of the strategy (coherence with mission and results of client-based needs assessment); evidence of analysis of market conditions and needs; evidence the strategy has been disseminated.


Review of strategic plan or strategy documents, as well as needs assessment and competitor analysis; interviews with key staff (e.g., managers)

The box below indicates the criteria to be used in calculating a score on this indicator.


An organizational strategy should prioritize and focus the work, should comply with the mission, and should respond to the demands of the clients served and the organization's market. A clear strategy continuously and clearly defines the logic leading from activity to outcomes.

Moreover, the strategy must include evidence of linkage and responsiveness to its clients, community, funders, and potential new markets. The following 4-point scale from MSH's Management and Organizational Sustainability Tool has proven useful in measuring this indicator in reproductive health organizations and programs. 8

Descriptor Score
Organizational strategies are formulated with little concern for the perspectives of
clients and the demands of the market (the wider community).

 1

Client and community perspectives are discussed in formulating organizational
strategies, but there is no systematic assessment of these factors (e.g., no market
studies, no client interviews). There is no mechanism for involving community/
clients in formulating strategies. There is no analysis of competing services.

 2

Client needs and desires have been assessed, and markets for expanded and targeted services and products with the community have been defined. These single assessments are used repeatedly over time to guide the development of strategies. Community/clients are only sporadically involved in formulating organizational strategies. Analysis of competing services is carried out sporadically.

 3

The needs and desires of clients and the demands of the community are frequently reassessed to identify changes over time and to provide the basis for developing organizational strategies. Clients and community are systematically involved in formulating organizational strategies. A mechanism is in place for regularly analyzing competing services.

4


Even with a quantifiable scale for which to measure this indicator, this indicator is still somewhat subjective.  Evaluators should be mindful that although an organization may have a strategic plan, like a mission statement, this is a benchmark indicator and a step toward addressing the more important issue, which is the implementation of the strategic plan.


management

8 See Management and Organizational Sustainability Tool (MOST), MSH 1999a.

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