Large crowd gathered in meeting place.

Why Plan?

Planning provides a blueprint for the collaborative work by engaging partners from different sectors in developing a shared vision, mission, and objectives to address priority goals.


Key Questions to Consider

  • What is the shared vision and mission, and what will it take to get there?
  • How much, of what, do we hope to accomplish, and by when?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of partners from different sectors, and how will intersectoral action be coordinated?
  • How will we address factors that contribute to the problem or goal, and how can we reach those most affected?
  • What particular strategies (e.g., programs, policies) will we use to achieve success?
  • How will we adapt promising approaches to fit our context?
  • Who—in which sectors—are best positioned to implement the strategies to achieve results and to reach those most affected?


Some Recommended Actions

  1. __ State the mission (the what and why) for your project.
  2. __ State the measurable objectives (how much of what you hope to accomplish by when).
  1. __ Clarify the roles and responsibilities of partners from different sectors, and structures used to coordinate intersectoral action.
  1. __ Target strategies to particular groups and relevant factors, including to:
    • Reach and engage particular groups and places experiencing health inequities (i.e., related to race/ethnicity, income/poverty, gender, and/or where people live)
    • Address relevant factors and determinants affecting the problem/goal, including:
      • Personal factors [These may include: knowledge, beliefs, skills, education and training, education and training, experience, cultural norms and practices, social status, cognitive or physical abilities, gender, age, genetic predisposition]
      • Environmental factors [These may include: social support, available resources and services, barriers (including financial, physical, and communication), social approval, incentives and disincentives, time costs and delays, policies, environmental hazards, living conditions, poverty, and disparity in status]
      • Social determinants that produce inequities [These may include: a) Differential exposures and opportunities for particular groups (e.g., stress, support networks); a) Differential vulnerabilities and capabilities (e.g., education); and c) Differential consequences (e.g., access to quality services, discrimination)]
  2. __ Identity potential strategies to be used in the initiative, including:
    • Evidence-based and practice-based approaches for this issue [See resources below]
    • Specific changes in communities and systems to be implemented (e.g., changing policies; strengthening services and supports; modifying access, barriers and opportunities)
  3. __ Identify those who can best implement strategies, and how they can be engaged in the effort, including:
    • Targets of change: those from groups most affected by health inequities (e.g., low-income families) and those whose actions are critical for success (e.g., community health workers)
    • Agents of change: those who may be in a position to change factors and determinants that affect the problem/goal, including those with power and influence (e.g., agency administrators, elected or appointed officials)
    • Sectors: those channels through which targets and agents of change can be reached and engaged (e.g., health, education, food, housing, transport)


Planning Examples


Resources to Help with Planning

Tools from the Community Tool Box

Toolkit: Developing Strategic and Action Plans

Chapter 8: Developing a Strategic Plan

Developing and Communicating a Vision

Tools from WHO and Other Sources

Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2020

Communication for behavioural impact: field workbook

WHO’s Six-Year Strategic Plan to Minimise the Health Impact of Emergencies and Disasters

2015 WHO Strategic Response Plan: West Africa Ebola outbreak

Models and Tools for Health Workforce Planning and Projections