Availability of a clear, strategic mission statement

The existence of a mission statement, which is a written expression of purpose-- the overall reason an organization exists.

A mission statement is clear and strategic if it:

  • Defines the program or organization's purpose;
  • Defines the program or organization's intended clients;
  • Is used to guide strategic planning; and
  • Is reviewed periodically to assure that it provides a vision for the future and continues to reflect fundamental values and goals.

Evidence of a written mission statement; other information on the organization's mission.

Organizational/program documents including plans, staff orientation materials, policy manuals and statements, and marketing materials.

This indicator provides a summary measure of the existence of a clear sense of direction in the form of a written mission statement. Having a clear mission statement that is well disseminated within an organization facilitates strategic planning and setting priorities based on the needs of current and potential clients.

Although programs and organizations without a formal mission statement may perform in a highly effective manner, a mission statement serves the important function of helping to keep staff focused on the accomplishment of long-term objectives.

Although the basic mission of an organization may remain the same for an extended period, the language of the mission statement must provide a clear focus and a priority for organizational strategies and activities.

This indicator is quantifiable on a scale of 0 to 5, as indicated below.

0 No written mission statement
1 Mission statement exists but fails to conform to the above criteria
2 Mission statement exists and conforms with only one of the above criteria
3 Mission statement exists and conforms with 2 of the above criteria
4 Mission statement exists and conforms with 3 of the above criteria
5 Mission statement exists and conforms with all 4 of the above criteria

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 clear, strategic mission statement available, this is a benchmark indicator and a step toward addressing the more important issue, which is the use of the mission statement to guide the organization's objectives and strategic planning.  

policy, health system strengthening (HSS), management
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