Country Focus

Strategic planning at country level

In a world of increasing health challenges but limited resources, WHO must ensure efficient and effective delivery of its work. The Organization has a 10-year agenda (the Global Programme of Work) and a medium-term plan to guide its work. In addition, the Regional Office for the Western Pacific has developed a strategic framework tool for countries and technical units.

Since 2008, the Medium-term Strategic Plan 2008–2013 has guided WHO’s monitoring, planning and implementation work. The Plan defines the strategic direction for implementing WHO’s vision. It also provides a monitoring and assessment framework to measure progress.

To complement this, and further increase the rigour in planning, the Regional Office for the Western Pacific developed the Country Strategic Frameworks and Technical Strategic Frameworks to outline directions for its country offices and the Region’s technical units, which further developed more specific strategic frameworks.

These frameworks enable much more specific results, indicators and targets to be identified. Significantly, by incorporating the Medium-term Strategic Plan plus regional and national plans and other strategic frameworks, they consolidate different dimensions to provide an integrated, coherent approach.

The Country Strategic Framework is aligned to key planning processes at the country level such as the Country Cooperation Strategy. While it details WHO’s work in relation to the country, it also heeds regional and global concerns. The premise is that by focusing more on what countries needs and the reality at ground level, Regional and even global plans are more likely to be implemented. Moreover, the impact is achieved where it matters most —– in the countries.

The Technical Strategic Framework provides a reference to address priority issues for the Country Strategic Framework, which in turn provides an anchor by linking activities towards a priority issue to country concerns and realities.

Strategic planning at the country level may involve helping countries develop comprehensive national plans. This may require building capacity within government ministries for analysis and study, strengthening partnerships and helping countries avail appropriate tools and guidelines.

UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)

Other resources