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close this bookGuide to Strategic Planning Process for a National Response to HIV/AIDS: Strategic Plan Formulation (UNAIDS, 1998, 32 p.)
close this folderIII. Formulating a strategic plan
close this folderIII.4 Develop strategies to reach objectives in priority areas
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentExample: Turning an obstacle into an opportunity

(introduction...)

The groundwork for formulating strategies will have been laid during the situation and response analyses described in Modules 1 and 2 of this Guide. When they sit down to formulate strategies, the various groups involved in plan formulation will already have learned from the response analysis which initiatives, among the current response:

· are working and can be continued or expanded;
· are not working and need a new, more strategic approach;
· are not relevant to current needs and should be dropped, and;
· have not been addressed at all.

Programmes and projects that are working should be incorporated into the new strategies, while irrelevant initiatives should be excluded. The initiatives that are not working and need a more strategic approach and the priority issues that have not been addressed so far will demand more attention from plan formulators. The response analysis has already asked why those initiatives are not working, and what the reasons are for priority areas being neglected. The answer will point to the hurdles the projects have faced and to obstacles that have prevented important issues to be raised and appropriately addressed. Strategists can plan a series of steps - a strategy - which will deal with those obstacles, or they can look for ways to avoid the obstacles altogether. Sometimes, an obstacle may even be turned into an opportunity, as illustrated in the example below.

The situation and response analyses may also have identified lost opportunities that might be used to build the national response to HIV. Planners should incorporate these opportunities into their strategies. Often this will involve pulling new partners into the response - private companies, state institutions, and communities who could contribute their skills, assets, and ideas to find new ways of cutting down HIV and its impact. A well designed strategy is one which takes advantage of existing strengths of different sections of society by encouraging each to contribute whatever they do best. The strengths of the international community also vary. Each UNAIDS’ cosponsor has its own areas of knowledge and expertise and the same is true of many major international government donors and NGOs. By considering these comparative strengths in the planning process, countries can make most efficient use of available resources.