|Guide to Strategic Planning Process for a National Response to HIV/AIDS: Strategic Plan Formulation (UNAIDS, 1998, 32 p.)|
As this module and modules 1 and 2 have underscored, the way in which the strategic planning process is carried out will have done much to mobilize the human and financial resources needed to implement the planned strategies. This will have been done partly through planning realistically but more importantly through involving key stakeholders in the planning process. It may happen that essential interventions in priority areas could not be left out of the plan, even though the necessary resources were not readily available. Module 4: Resource Mobilization will deal more specifically with such issues.
While the strategic plan will have some effect on the ongoing activities, for instance, on initiatives that have become irrelevant or need adapting to changing situations, most of its impact will be on new initiatives that will fill gaps or expand ongoing activities, replace others or seize unexploited opportunities. Those responsible for implementing the various activities will now need to develop detailed workplans, concrete time tables, and budgets, indicators, and targets, to make the strategies a reality.
Last but not least, whatever the planning, monitoring or evaluation exercise, it should not stand in the way of actually implementing the activities. By involving those responsible for implementing planned activities and by being pragmatic and realistic in setting objectives, in short by planning strategically, an important step will have been taken towards allowing an immediate start of translating plans into concrete action.