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Strategic Planning Process in Local Government A comparative analysis by N. Nyathi and D. Korver.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategic Planning Process in Local Government A comparative analysis by N. Nyathi and D. Korver."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategic Planning Process in Local Government A comparative analysis by N. Nyathi and D. Korver

2 D. Korver BACKGROUND TO SNVs involvement Organisational Analysis Mat South RDCs ( ) Joint Analysis of OA with 5 RDCs (2002) Priority listing of issues for capacity development ( ) URDC, IRDC, BMRDC Strategic Planning Priority #1 SNV development of strategic planning process for local government in Zimbabwe

3 D. Korver What is Strategic Planning? It is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organisation is and what it does and why it does it (Bryson 1995)

4 D. Korver What does Strategic Planning do? Focusses on achievement of the best fit between an organisation and its environment Encourages a participative process to development that is medium term, innovative and flexible to meet strategic objectives in line with available resources

5 D. Korver Characteristics of Strategic planning cross sectoral coordination and integration Financial feasibility Agreement on roles of public & private sector in development Enabling role of public sector in support of private sector Linkage to and from national policy issues Regular monitoring and evaluation Source UNDP Global Report 1996

6 D. Korver Major assumption about Strategic Planning The major assumption of strategic planning is that an organisation must be responsive to a dynamic, changing environment, it emphasises the organisations need to understand the changing environment and to develop organisational decisions responsive to those changes.

7 D. Korver Strategic Planning Process This can be split into 4 broad phases i.e. 1.Environmental scanning: Internal & External 2. Strategy Formulation 3. Strategy Implementation 4. Monitoring and control Many organisations break these further down into manageable processes as shown below

8 D. Korver The Process –Prepare –Define »Shared Values »Shared Vision »Mission –Scan »Environmental Scan (OT) »Internal Audit (SW) –Formulate »Set Strategic Goals »Set Areas of Key Results »Set Key Result Objectives »Action Planning »Sub Unit Integration –Implement –Monitor

9 D. Korver The Process - Timetable –Prepare(8 weeks) –Define(4 weeks) »Shared Values2 weeks »Shared Vision1 week »Mission1 week –Scan(16 weeks) »Environmental Scan (OT)8 weeks »Internal Audit (SW)8 weeks –Formulate(24 weeks) »Set Strategic Goals4 weeks »Set Areas of Key Results4 weeks »Set Key Result Objectives4 weeks »Action Planning4 weeks »Sub Unit Integration8 weeks –Implement(depends on plan) –Monitor(ongoing) –TOTAL52 weeks

10 D. Korver Summary on Strategic Planning Strategic Goals & values Scanning the environment where we want to go what the world is like Policies & Strategies How we intend to get there Targets (milestones along the way) Operational Activity Planning Performance Standards Appraisal (inputs, outputs, outcomes) (Annual reviews, audits) Monitoring ( Resource and service plan monitoring)

11 D. Korver What makes SP unique in Zimbabwe? Economic hardships for RDCs –Limited financial resources –Limited time –Other priorities: e.g. food distribution Decentralisation Policy GoZ Clear requests from Min of LG regarding need for strategic planning for local authorities Political environment

12 D. Korver Benefits for local governments Strategic (long term) Thinking by staff and councillors Community involvement Improved relationships Councilors-Staff Ability to get buy-in from stakeholders in region Improved Coordination of NGO activities Compliance with GoZ regulations

13 D. Korver GoZ involvement, pros and cons Positive Local authorities have a platform to learn from each other –Healthy competition (who has the first/best plan) –Becomes a legitimate process, councils willing to cooperate Negative –Less ownership felt (is something that has to be done for Min of Local Govt)

14 D. Korver Lessons learned from SNV viewpoint The process can take a long time to complete (up to 1,5 years) Once people involved understand the process and the purpose they become motivated Keeping a good record of all meetings, documentation of outcomes throughout the process is crucial to come up with a good document The composition of the strategic planning committee determines the success of the process (motivated people at influential positions such as CEO, Councilors, HoDs, people from the RDDC). The process is often to expensive for RDCs given the current situation and priorities. This affects the quality and time it takes to complete.

15 D. Korver Different process developments for different local authorities

16 D. Korver Major challenges and solutions 1.Little money for process. 2.Limited CEO availability. 3.Other priorities (e.g. food security, AIDS/HIV). 1.Scale down process, hold internal meetings with less people, make use of existing documentation and parallel activities (e.g. scans), be realistic in planning. 2.Delegate to capable, motivated HoDs. 3.Address these priorities first and also take them into account as strategic objectives.

17 D. Korver Pitfalls observed Rushing through the process to save time and money and dragging the process resulting in loss of momentum Delegate to someone who is not in a position to command authority Not acknowledging other more important priorities Not documenting process, not keeping important documents (minutes, sheets) Copying parts from other local authorities documents Seeing Strategic Planning as something that will solve everything Seeing Strategic Planning not in connection to other activities/processes that take place in a local authority

18 D. Korver Best practices Prepare budget for process (to understand steps involved and financial implications) Involve 1 or 2 people from other organizations to participate in the SP committee Meet frequently with a small core team of 3-4 people CEO to delegate responsibilities early on if CEO is to occupied with other priorities to champion process Involve 1 or 2 councilors to facilitate acceptance and information flow between staff and councilors Document extensively to capture not only the outcome (e.g. lists of points) but also the (strategic) thinking involved Relate Strategic Planning to other activities taking place (e.g. performance management, annual planning, project definition, NGO activities) Be positive (e.g. look at strengths and opportunities)

19 D. Korver SNV Advice There can be a standard approach, but the process varies. Any approach chosen should be flexible. GoZ could allocate funding for this process to facilitate it. Ministry of Local Government could produce guiding manuals, standards to assist local authorities. A platform could be further developed at national or provincial level where local authorities share their experiences and learn from each other regarding the strategic planning process. The SP should guide annual planning. It should not only be a bookshelf document nicely bound.

20 D. Korver Way Forward SNV To continuously relate capacity development activities to the organisations strategy. THANK YOU

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