The current 3-year strategic plan (July 2018 – June 2021) is the second plan falling under the long- term strategic objectives identified back in 2015; as such, it can be regarded as a ‘rolling-forward’ plan, building upon the accomplishments of the 1st strategic plan.

In order to develop the plan, those responsible for each strategic objective were required to follow a four-step approach:

  •  Evaluation of past performance, focussing on achievements at expected output and outcome levels.This analysis should result in a critical reflection of performance, assessing relevance of focal areas, identifying root causes of challenges facedand settingimplications for the next strategic plan;
  • Identification of emerging issues, i.e. issues (internal/external) which have emerged since the last strategic plan that need to be taken into consideration. These emerging issues may be related to (new) strategic priorities, or may affect strategies/approaches of already established priorities.
  • Collection of opinions and needs from major stakeholders, in particular from Dioceses but also from members of the directorate’s governance committees. Since the Dioceses are the direct target group of most of our interventions, it is crucial to ascertain that our strategic priorities correspond to their needs.
  • Analysis of strengths and weaknesses (internal), and opportunities and threats (external). The SWOT analysis will help us to develop realistic plans that duly consider our implementation capacity and resources – building on our strengths, addressing our weaknesses, making use of external opportunities (e.g. of our development partners) and mitigating external threats. The SWOT analysis was carried out strategic objective level, to capture the specificity of each directorate / department.

The above steps were carried out in the period March – May 2018, and the outcomes were used to develop the underlying draft 3-year strategic framework.

During the above process, the Secretariat realized that most of the Secretariat staff had not owned the previous strategic plan. In other words, the plan had not become a working document in their day-to-day fulfillment of their respective responsibilities.  In addition, the Secretariat underwent significant restructuring over the past two years, and most senior staff members were replaced and/or newly appointed; priority was given to “cleaning ship”within their respective Directives / departments, and insufficient time remained for pursuing strategic priorities, as set-out in the 2015-2018 strategic plan. As a result, most interventions could not or only partially be implemented, and have been “rolled forward” in the current plan. For successful implementation, it is crucial that all staff are aware of this strategic framework, and understand their roles and responsibilities within; and that a monitoring framework is put into operation to ensure that expected results and outcomes are realized.