The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) defines strategic planning as "a disciplined process aimed at producing fundamental decisions and actions that will shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does what it does. The process of assessing a changing environment to create a vision of the future; determining how the organization fits into the anticipated environment, based on its mission, strengths, and weaknesses; then setting in motion a plan of action to position the organization," with the strategic plan focusing on a range of agency level organizational goals, strategies and objectives, including new initiatives.
NACCHO's Performance Improvement team supports the strategic planning capacity of local health departments by providing tailored technical assistance; a wide range of tools, trainings, and other resources, including publications; and opportunities for peer networking and learning.
Developing a LHD Strategic Plan: A How-To Guide
NACCHO has developed a robust how-to guide, including templates and worksheets, for undertaking the strategic planning process. Aligned with PHAB's strategic planning requirements, this guide offers step-by-step instructions, important considerations, and modifiable tools and templates for use in any type of LHD.
Developing a Tribal Health Department Strategic Plan: A How-To Guide
This is a robust guide to undertaking the strategic planning process, specifically for Tribal Health Departments. It is aligned with PHAB's requirements and offers instructions and templates for agency use. This guide was developed in collaboration with Red Star Innovations. It is available here
Community Toolbox, Chapter Eight: Developing a Strategic Plan
The Community Tool Box, created by the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas, provides information on how to build healthier and more equitable communities. Chapter Eight of the tool box ("Developing a Strategic Plan") provides practical, step-by-step guidance on how to embark on the strategic planning process. You can access it here.
Strategic Planning for Non-Profit Organizations
Written by John M. Bryson, this book will help public health leaders understand what strategic planning and management are and how to apply them in their own organizations. It is available for purchase here.
Creating and Implementing Your Strategic Plan: A Workbook for Public and Nonprofit Organizations
This hard-copy workbook, written by John M. Bryson and Farnum K. Alston, is a step-by-step guide on strategic planning in public and nonprofit organizations, and provides easy-to-understand worksheets and clear instructions for creating a strategic plan tailored to the needs of an individual organization. It is available for purchase here.
South Central Public Health Partnership Training
The SCPHP offers free Internet-based trainings on public health topics such as bioterrorism, risk communication, leadership management, communication skills, and environmental health. Interested public health professionals must register to enroll. The "Leadership, Strategic Planning and Systems Approaches" training provides enrollees with strategic analysis and planning skills.
The following are examples of high quality strategic plans that you can mimic when planning for your Local Health Department.
*These strategic plans were evaluated against the PHAB Standards and Measures Version 1.0 by NACCHO Staff. These individuals, based on their understanding of the standards and measures, have classified them as meeting the PHAB requirements and being high-quality documents. These have not been approved by PHAB or any PHAB site visitors for the purposes of meeting relevant standards and measures.
**PHAB's application requirement includes a statement from the health department's director with an assurance that the health department has an adopted, current (dated within the previous five years) community health assessment, community health improvement plan, and department strategic plan.