ISP3 Bulletin: All About the ISP3
As discussions about our new International Strategic Plan kick off in Valencia this afternoon, let’s take a moment to look at what it actually is we’re trying to achieve. What is the International Strategic Plan (or ISP), and what’s it for? What’s the process we’re going through to develop the next ISP? And what’s the significance of this conference, this week?
We’ll talk through all those questions here and attempt to answer them. But if you have any other questions or thoughts on the process, please comment below!
So, what is the ISP?
Action Against Hunger uses five-year International Strategic Plans to chart its course and achieve alignment across its international network. With the current ISP (2016-2020) coming to an end soon, it’s crucial that we take stock of our current situation, collate lessons from recent experience and create a compelling direction and plan for the next five years.
This ISP – the “ISP3”, for the years 2021 to 2025 – is of particular importance because it comes at a time when NGOs are operating in an increasingly challenging environment. In the current humanitarian landscape, just extrapolating from the past and getting better at what we already do may not be enough; to flourish, now may be the time to fundamentally re-engineer some aspects of what we do and how we do it, while remaining true to our vision and mission: a world free from hunger.
The ISP3 will provide guidance and direction to us, Action Against Hunger’s staff, as well as inspiring and motivating our internal and external stakeholders. It will serve as a template that can be replicated across the network, with adjustments to specific circumstances and needs.
How is it being developed?
In order to end up with an ISP3 that is fit for purpose, achieves our aims, and can be converted into action at all levels of our network, we have aimed to include our staff and key stakeholders as much as possible in developing the plan. A survey was recently sent out to all staff members; the results of that will be instrumental in informing the next steps of this process and drafting a plan that works for us all. We have also talked to key groups across the network, including international management groups, international functions, and country and regional teams.
Looking at the overall process, there are five key elements essential to developing an effective ISP:
- Value proposition
- Key trends
- Strategic priorities
- High-level results
- Major lines of action
The value proposition – a clear statement explaining how we address problems, deliver benefits and distinguish ourselves from others – and strategic priorities will begin to take shape during the conference over the next few days. We’ll be sharing more on those, and the last two elements, in the coming weeks and months… so watch this space!
When it comes to key trends, the staff survey and consultation have given us some idea of what they might look like, and that will guide us as we refine them tomorrow and the next day. Look out over the next couple of days for more posts about these key trends – what are they and how do they affect us? – as well as more about the discussions happening at the international conference in Valencia.
What’s the significance of the international conference?
Despite our best intentions, it’s impossible to directly engage all 8,000 staff members across the network. International days, such as this annual conference, are therefore vital because they provide an essential opportunity to bring a globally representative group of staff together in one setting to engage in meaningful discussions about Action Against Hunger’s future directions and priorities.
So Action Against Hunger’s annual international conference, which is taking place in Valencia over the next few days, is a key moment for the development of the ISP3: it’s the only time in the year that we have all of our country and Member directors, as well as many other staff members, together in a room. They will spend their time between now and Wednesday afternoon reviewing the research done so far on the ISP3 and discussing the next steps towards its completion.
We’ll hear the reflections of the International Executive Committee on the process and outcomes so far, then participants will spend the next two days discussing, developing and deciding on high level statements for Action Against Hunger Trends, Value Proposition and Strategic Priorities. These statements will in turn feed into the development of the ISP3.
This conference and these discussions are a crucial part of the participatory development process – with representatives from every different part of the network involved, these three days will be fundamental in helping to determine the key components of each element, which we’ll base the next phase of work on in order to achieve an effective and actionable International Strategic Plan.