Health systems

Strategic planning: transforming priorities into plans

Chapter 5 in Strategizing national health in the 21st century: a handbook

Frank Terwindt, Dheepa Rajan

Publication details

Editors: Gérard Schmets, Dheepa Rajan, Sowmya Kadandale
Number of pages: 55
Publication date: November 2016
Languages: English


In health, strategic planning aims at identifying, sequencing and timing medium- term interventions for the health sector in a comprehensive way. The end productis the sector strategic plan, which guides the activities and investments which are necessary for achieving medium-term outcomes and impact. In line with this definition, the purpose of strategic planning in health is to define a medium-term orientation and focus for the development of the health system. Decision- making should be based on a thorough analysis of the current situation, on lessons learned from previous plans, on expected available resources and on chosen priorities.

In this chapter, guidance is provided on developing a relevant NHPSP that is referred to, consulted and used. Steps are proposed to manage the NHPSP development process and common challenges and mistakes are pointed out with suggested solutions.

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