Kenya Developing its Country Strategic Plan 2022-2024
Save the Children Kenya is developing its Country Strategic Plan 2022-2024. Jane Mbagi Mutua the Director of Program Development and Quality shares her experience steering the process.
1. Why is the Country Strategic Plan (CSP) development process important for Save the Children Kenya?
As Save the Children, we have our vision and mission, so we know where we want to get to by 2030. The CSP development process helps us to agree which road to use to get to where we are going – which is our vision. A strategic plan helps us achieve our mission by agreeing on a common direction and helping outline the steps we will take to achieve the mission and vision. The strategy also helps us anticipate changes and prepare for them – what do we anticipate will happen in our internal and external environment and how do we ensure we are not caught flat footed and can leverage on them if they are opportunities or mitigate against them if they are challenges.
2. What drivers will influence this CSP period that were not there in the last CSP 2018-2021?
Well, three years is a very long time and also not a very long time, if that makes sense. A few of the drivers that will influence this strategy and were not there in the last one CSP period that ends this year are (a) COVID-19 pandemic– you all know COVID-19 has changed the way we do things and the secondary impacts are going to be with us for a while – right from the economies that have taken a hit, children who have lost a school year or dropped out altogether, families that have been pushed below the poverty line etc. Who would have anticipated that. So, as we look forward to the next three years this is something we need to have at the back of our minds; (b) Digitization – COVID-19 made us rethink our business processess and how we can use digital solutions to make us more efficient, increase reach and have greater impact for children; (c) We have to be more deliberate and clear on our value add – the questions around the value add of INGOs are getting louder and especially in Kenya which is a Lower Middle Income Country; (d) and closely related to that, is the localization agenda – how will we work with local organizations to ensure they implement child-focused interventions, but also to build their organizational capacity.
3. Having been part of both processes what do you think is different this time around?
The process is definitely much simpler and allows more engagement with staff and stakeholders. Secondly, the movement did this at the same time – Centre, Members, Country Offices are all developing their strategies at the same time. Staff within the movement were engaged in providing input into the global process through staff surveys, which is great as staff voices can be heard. Third, this time we used a reverse engineered process – where we started by thinking about what needs to happen for us to achieve our breakthroughs by 2030 and then worked backwards to identify what Save the Children needs to achieve, what role Save the Children needs to play / excel at, what we need to invest in to learn and grow and how we will recourse our plans in the next three years.
4. When will the final plan be ready?
I would say at the end of Q2. We do have a draft Strategy map now but in the coming quarter we will be looking at how to measure success (developing a score card) – how will we know we have achieved our objectives or we have got to where we wanted to go. As we do that, we will have room to make some minor changes if we feel we need to change course a bit. So I would say end of Q2 we would have what we can call final CSP – which we will then use for our annual planning and budgeting processes in Q3.
5. What has been your greatest challenge so far with the process?
Wow, the greatest challenge for me, of course working with the core team, has been making the tough choices of what to include in the CSP Strategy map. As you know, ambition is one of our core values, and as we have had these conversations with staff, you realise we want to do so much but ultimately we do have to make choices on what are the core issues we will focus on. This has been a big challenge.
Jane Mbagi Mutua
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