Strategic planning at Athi Water Services Board in Kenya
Gitau, Cynthia W
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This report documents the findings of a study on strategic planning that was conducted at Athi Water Services Board in Kenya. Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. In order to determine the direction of the organization, it is necessary to understand its current position and the possible avenues through which it can pursue a particular course of action. Generally, strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions; what do we do? For whom do we do it? How do we excel? The study sought to establish how strategic planning is undertaken at the board. The case study research design was used. Primary and secondary data was collected and analyzed to arrive at the findings. A combination of methods was used to collect the data. Personal interviews using a structured interview guide were conducted with senior managers. An analysis of available documents and records was also undertaken. The study establishes that AWSB has been developing and implementing strategic plans since its inception in 2004. The study establishes that AWSB undertakes strategic planning due to its critical organizational needs. The development and implementation of strategic plans is also a requirement of its parent ministry under performance contracting. The study also establishes that AWSB adopts a step by step participatory approach in its strategic planning process. It is established that this approach involves several stakeholders including the management, board of directors, employees and water services providers. The adoption of strategic planning has been beneficial to AWSB as it leads to improved operational efficiency and by extension greater resource mobilization. The process is however not without challenges. Changing climatic conditions, volatility of the Kenyan and global economies, changing political environment, population increase and underperforming WSPs all create challenges to strategic planning. The study also established that SWOT, PESTLE and the balanced score card are the tools used in strategic planning. The study was conducted within a limited time frame and on a single institution in the water sector. It is recommended that further research should be conducted on other institutions in the water sector. The study establishes there needs to be a shift in strategic planning policy at AWSB in that there needs to be a deliberate strategy for the improvement of the WSPs in all future plans. There is also need to entrench a monitoring system in future strategic plans.