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Define and develop an action plan

Last edited: February 26, 2019

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A key area of planning requires establishing priority outcomes to be achieved through the coordinated response and how to accomplish them.  The following broad questions can be used to identify which areas the coordinated response will focus on:

  • What is the problem or challenge we are trying to address?
  • What are the longer-term outcomes we hope to achieve?
  • What shorter-term outcomes may lead to these longer-term outcomes?
  • Which activities must we engage in to achieve these shorter-term and longer-term outcomes? (Allen & Hagen, 2003). 

A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis can also be useful in identifying long-term priorities and goals.  This technique enables members of a team or organisation to identify internal capabilities (Strengths) and limitations (Weaknesses) and external factors (Opportunities and Threats) that might impact their effectiveness. It allows the group to highlight opportunities for development and manage or minimise challenges.

Another approach consists of formalising aims, objectives and desired outcomes and organising a structured programme of work to achieve the outcomes through an Action Plan.  The Action Plan should include the following elements: 

  • Expected results – what do you want to achieve?
  • Major activities – what do you need to do?
  • Strategies – how can you do it?
  • Resources – what kind of support (financial/technical/human) is needed to implement the activities?
  • Timeframe – when will you do it?
  • Roles – who will do it and how?
  • Accountability – who will ensure that it happens?
  • Evaluation – how will you measure progress and success?


Using the Six Ps to develop a coordinated response (End Violence Against Women Coalition, UK)

The Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit developed a tool called ‘the Six Ps’ for the UK End Violence Against Women Coalition as a set of key areas to be addressed in any coordinated response.  Expanding on the concept of the 3 Ps (prevention, protection, provision), it places the six overall areas in a schematic order to guide the process of strategy development.  The underlying concept is that coherent actions around any of the four areas where direct actions can be taken and initiatives implemented (prevention, provision, protection and prosecution) can only flow from a defined theoretical starting point (perspective), which in turn should inform policy content.  The specific content for each box can be amended so that it can be used by national or local-level implementers from any context.

Source: Coy, M., Lovett, J. and Kelly, L. (2008) Realising Rights, Fulfilling Obligations: A Template for an Integrated Strategy on Violence Against Women for the UK, London: End Violence Against Women, available in English.

Establishing aims and objectives is also crucial for guiding a monitoring and evaluation plan that will measure whether and to what extent these aims and objectives have been achieved.  Hence, once outcomes and activities have been agreed on, they can then be used to develop a framework for measuring delivery, as in the example in the table below.