In order to achieve the results laid out in this strategic plan, IBP must leverage its strengths and advance in the following eight strategic areas:
1. Focus on Results:
Over the next five years, IBP has committed to utilizing a Results-Based Management (RBM) approach, which brings results to the center of the planning and management processes. The IBP Strategic Planning and Steering Committees developed the IBP Results Framework which will serve as the foundation of this approach.
2. Pro-Active Membership and Unified Bodies:
IBP’s ability to achieve the results set forth in this strategic plan hinges upon the active participation of a wide range of IBP Members. As well, it is imperative that IBP bodies (i.e. Initiative, Secretariat, Chair, Steering Committee and Task Teams) work from a common agenda to achieve the results laid out in this plan.
3. Increased Collaboration Among IBP Partners:
In recognition of the complex nature of family planning and reproductive health, IBP member organizations should focus on increasing collaboration between partners as well as with key country-level actors to maximize the effectiveness of their work. Equally important, the functionality and utility of IBP depends on the degree to which member organizations join forces.
4. Knowledge Management:
The Knowledge Gateway is IBP’s unique and most powerful tool. Inherent in the Knowledge Gateway is its ability to facilitate knowledge management or generate value from the IBP Initiative’s intellectual and knowledge-based assets. Over the next five years, the IBP has a strategic opportunity to further integrate this tool into the work of member organizations. To a large extent, however, the Knowledge Gateway’s utility is dependent upon how members perceive its usability, accessibility, relevance/timeliness of information, and innovation.
5. Strategic Communication:
Beyond the Knowledge Gateway, the IBP must continue to support effective and accessible communication externally and internally. The strategic planning exercise revealed that there are knowledge, information and perception gaps between IBP members. Communication efforts that can be valuable over the next five-years include Membership Guidelines training; IBP Operating Guidelines training; five years IBP Communication Strategy; IBP Membership Guide; IBP 2011–2016 strategic plan summary; and social media/mobile technology linked to the Knowledge Gateway. It has also been suggested that each partner delegate a point person responsible for informing and mentoring other staff members about IBP activities.
6. Focus on Effective Practices (EPs):
Originally, the Implementing Best Practices title was applied with a clinical context in mind. After much debate and effort over the years, IBP desires to move beyond the complexities of defining best practices. As a result, IBP will remain the "IBP Initiative", but the name will no longer include “Implementing Best Practices”. Consequently, a by-line will be added to the IBP title, that focuses attention on its purpose: to support performance improvement and change management techniques that facilitate the implementation, increased use (scaling-up) and sustained utilization of reproductive health/family planning effective practices (i.e. process, procedure, tool or principle) at the country level.
Increasing the use of effective RH/FP practices at the country level is of key importance to IBP. As explained in the Results Framework, “increased scale-up of RH/FP effective practices” constitutes IBP’s development hypothesis over the next five years. However, in order to best achieve scale-up, it will be important to: (i) develop solid indicators that adequately measure this result; (ii) set realistic and achievable targets for scale-up; and (iii) emphasize scale-up activities within the five priority countries. All of these elements will be built into the IBP’s Performance Management Plan (PMP).
8. Priority Countries:
The IBP’s third strategic objective reads, “To focus IBP’s support for scale-up and documentation of learning in five priority countries”. Breaking this objective down, it is clear that IBP not only seeks to target its finite resources toward increasing use of RH/FP EPs in five priority countries, but also to draw out and document lessons within them. The five countries have yet to be named: the IBP is developing selection criteria to identify these priority countries.