HDP is a Rwandan NGO, founded in 2006 and based in Kigali. Largely dependent on external financial support aimed at project implementation, the organisation needed to develop its own sustainable funding strategy but lacked the competencies to develop a strategic business plan for activity diversification. There was a need to improve the organisation’s skills in mobilising funds, prepare proper financial plans and develop the necessary personnel skills. Cordaid, a Dutch development agency, provided funding support to HDP in this process.
The coordination process between operational units delivering health care services to clients and partners was considered weak. The implementation of strategic and shared planning, resource mobilisation, internal communications, consolidation of reports, and the training and retention of staff was posing problems. HDP wanted to provide guidance on operational activities through an improved strategic plan built on a thorough organisational analysis.
HDP requested MDF Training & Consultancy support in analysing the organisation and assisting the strategic planning process. Sufficient time and attention was required on the development of new services and the mobilisation of financial resources. Special consideration was asked for human resources development.
We organised a three-day strategic planning workshop in Kigali around the central question of ”How can HDP deliver services and provide quality services to in the health sector in Rwanda and in other sub-saharan African countries in an efficient, effective and sustainable way?”.
The analysis was done by 18 internal HDP staff and 12 external partners. It provided the opportunity to reflect and identify the threats and opportunities in their institutional context and to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation. This was done in a systematic and participatory way and allowed HDP to make a start with the development of its strategic plan. Sufficient attention was paid to the development of new services and the mobilisation of financial resources.
The two facilitators used the ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ approach, an interactive process leading to creative organisational learning in four simple and logical steps: discovery, envisioning, design and deployment. HDP, its staff and partners examined their organisation’s successes and results to prepare and plan a better future. The Appreciative Inquiry methodology permitted HDP to perform a self-analysis and determine whether they are going into the desired direction. It allowed them to fill in their vision of the future, and thus proceed from dream to reality. It resulted in the beginning of their strategic plan.
After a thorough appreciative analysis, the participants made the following strategic choices:
- HDP exploits its experience to have several sources of funding;
- Diverse and capable team, stable and flexible;
- Develop and diversify their partnerships and strengthen their presence in the national and international health related networks;
- Financial autonomy through income generating activities: to generate 20,000 US$ of reserve funds / track / year.
Within the framework of their partnership, Cordaid agreed to support HDP in this analytical and planning process and combine it with strengthening of the organisation’s financial management. Consequently, MDF Training & Consultancy was able to collaborate and exchange information with the financial specialist, creating synergy in the two processes.