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The planning process involves outlining the work that needs to be performed. The first step is to develop aims and objectives. The process also includes determining which strategies to use, what resources are needed, how to measure progress and calculating a budget.

The planning process should be done by the team leading the project or intervention.

Develop aims and objectives

Setting aims and objectives will help to know where to focus your energy and how to direct resources. The Model for Improvement developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is a simple yet powerful tool that can guide the committee through the process of making changes and improvements. The model starts with asking key questions about the work to be undertaken and proceeds through a Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle to test ideas. Following this process will help to develop implementation strategies that are aligned with the overall aims and objectives. Key questions to consider are:

  • Who is the target audience?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What is already being done?
  • What are the barriers for change?
  • What change can you make that will result in improvement?
  • How will you know a change is an improvement?
  • What is the scale, length and budget for the project?
  • What is achievable and what resources are available?
  • When developing objectives it is important to make them SMART:

SMART Objectives:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Results Oriented

Time Limited

Choose a strategy

With many different options, it can be difficult to decide on which strategies will work best. Important questions to consider are:

  • Is there evidence to support the use of the strategy?
  • Has the strategy been used in a similar context?
  • How might the strategy need adaptation to this setting?
  • Are sufficient resources available?
  • Is approval required for implementation?
  • What type of training will be needed?
  • What issues does this strategy uniquely address?
  • How will this strategy help overcome identified barriers?

Develop an implementation plan

A good implementation plan will cover the steps in the process, what actions are needed to be taken, by who and when, as well as what resources are needed and how to measure progress. The implementation plan can include:

  • Communication plan: How will the plans be communicated to those directly and indirectly involved with the process?
  • Risk assessment: What are the risks that might occur with implementation?
  • Monitoring and evaluation framework for monitoring progress of the program

Different organizations have different change management models or processes. Some of the recommended resources for creating change is found in the selected resources below, together with tools to help plan interventions.

Selected Resources

Resource Description
Improving Medicines Access and Use for Child Health -A Guide to Developing Interventions Practical manual for those developing interventions to improve access to and use of medicines, including antibiotics, for child illness. Target groups: CSOs/NGOs, health care professionals, and health policy makers.

  • Guidance on the steps of the process, including how to evaluate results
  • Options for interventions and tools to use
How to improve the use of medicines by consumers This WHO guideline outlines communication methods to encourage the appropriate use of essential medicines among consumers. It includes guidance on communication through different channels, such as mass media or local news networks and outlines how communication campaigns can be planned, implemented and evaluated.
Community Toolbox The Community Toolbox aims to offer people engaged in local and community work a depository of tools and advice for building healthier communities. Toolkit 4 “Developing a Framework or Model of Change” helps to plan the pathway from activities to intended outcomes.
Community Toolbox The toolkit 5 of The Community Toolbox:  “Developing Strategic and Action Plan” aids development of a vision, mission, objectives, strategies, and action plan for the effort.
An Overview of Strategic Planning or “VMOSA” (Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Action Plans) VMOSA is a practical planning process that can be used by any community organization or initiative. This comprehensive planning tool provides a blueprint for moving from dreams to actions to positive outcomes for your community. Section 1 of chapter 8 gives a general overview of the process and touches briefly on each of the individual parts.
The Breakthrough Series: IHI’s Collaborative Model for Achieving Breakthrough Improvement The Institute for Healthcare Improvement works to improve quality and value of health care by supporting change. The Breakthrough Series is designed to help organizations create a structure where they can learn from each other and experts in areas where they want to improve.

Planning a Successful Event to Promote Appropriate Antibiotic Use

Guidelines for planning and implementing a successful antibiotic awareness event (for small activities as well as large events) developed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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