Relationship between strategic planning and organization’s performance in Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs): a case of Actionaid, Kenya
Strategic planning is a backbone support to strategic management and it is a major process in the conduct of strategic management. According to Wagner (2006) the importance of strategic planning can be explained from four points of view including environmental scanning, strategy formulation, linking goals to budgets and strategic planning as a process. The main objective of the study was to determine how strategic planning has assisted ActionAid Kenya (AAK) to improve in performance of its programmes. This study was conducted as a case study of ActionAid Kenya. Primary data sources were used in this study where data was obtained through interactive interviews with 12 management staff and 5 partner organizations. The nature of data collected was qualitative and was therefore analyzed using content analysis technique. ActionAid has adopted multiple strategy planning approaches and a number of tools to enhance organization performance. Taking Stock and resource allocation framework are fundamental processes to aligning strategy to implementation in ActionAid. ActionAid’s organization performance evaluates impact against the Strategy Papers. ActionAid’s Accountability, Learning and Planning System (ALPS) is widely recognized as an important innovations in “downward accountability, “enabling partners, funding and program participants to engage and assess its programme impact. The empirical findings and analysis conducted in ActionAid Kenya shows that strategic planning directly contributes to organizational performance. The study concludes that strategy planning and organisation performance in ActionAid Kenya involves drawing from national context and global plans and priorities to shape and ensure strategy alignment and relevance. The study also concludes that there is a difference between the results and approaches to measuring strategic planning effectiveness and organization performance, which confirms the case that selecting the appropriate approach to measuring relationship between strategic planning and organization performance must be done with caution. The study recommended that ActionAid Kenya should deepen its programme quality to scale impact; the annual planning should be done on confirmed incomes; re-examine its overall focus in view of the workload at the Development Initiative level; and that ActionAid should be aware that delivering its ambitious strategies presents a major challenge. ActionAid strategies present wide opportunities for the organization to operate at the edge of its competence and learn from its experience. It should optimize on its huge investment in reviews and reflections, and use such outcomes for operational improvement or to refocus its strategic priorities. ActionAid’s strategies bring greater focus to its work, welding its goals to thematic priorities, to help achieve the greatest impact in the realization of a world without poverty and injustice.