|Guide to Strategic Planning Process for a National Response to HIV/AIDS: Strategic Plan Formulation (UNAIDS, 1998, 32 p.)|
|I. Introduction to strategic plan formulation|
|I.2 Different options of strategic plans|
Whereas all strategic plans have a set of characteristic features in common, there are several options to planning strategically, according to the level of detail and operationalization:
A strategic plan may be conceived as a general framework for implementing the national response. Such a strategic framework sets fundamental principles, broad strategies, and the institutional framework, and is the basis for a subsequent formulation of more operational priority projects and programmes.
In the second option, the strategic plan would not only include the strategic framework as defined above, but also the more detailed strategies necessary to change the current situation, and the successive intermediate steps needed to reach the stated objectives.
The strategic plan for action - the third option - takes the level of detail still a step further: the priority actions contain not only operational plans, but also detailed alternatives for each strategy, to overcome potential obstacles.
To illustrate the first option, the following example lists the guiding principles contained in the Philippine National HIV/AIDS Strategy, as it was published after many months of consultations with the agencies involved in the national response.
While this first option provides a valid framework for subsequent planning of priority strategies, it remains quite theoretical, and may be less conducive to immediate action. The third option would require sophisticated techniques and highly specialized human resources. The option implicitly adopted in the present module is the second one, where a strategic framework is defined as well as a number of priority strategies.