Strategic Planning

Terre des Hommes

The Client

Terre des hommes (Tdh) are the leading Swiss organisation for child protection. Tdh extends assistance to over four million children and their families annually across 40 countries. Tdh focuses on health, protection, and emergency relief programmes, with a key emphasis on providing fair access to child protection services for the refugee population and host communities. 

In collaboration with Tdh between 2017 and 2022, inFocus has provided a wide portfolio of strategic planning services incorporating two 3-year strategic planning cycles (2017-2020 and 2021-2024). The partnership involved close collaboration with Tdh’s headquarters in Lausanne, as well as the European and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) delegations.

 

The Challenge

The strategic planning objectives across the planning cycles emerged from the evolving global context and the imperative to align with the Tdh Global Vision (2030). Each regional delegation faced unique challenges necessitating context-specific national level strategic planning to be carried out, followed by co-ordination and facilitation of regional level strategic planning to ‘ladder up’ efforts towards a consolidated global plan.  

The Project

A key part of the planning process during each planning exercise was either an in-person (2-3 day) or online planning workshops (a series of shorter workshops spaced across a 5 day period) including a broad cross-section of Tdh staff and stakeholders at either the regional or country delegation level. Planning exercises were carried out for Tdh Europe, Tdh Global Team (Lausanne), Tdh MENA, Tdh Kenya, Tdh Jordan, Tdh Lebanon, Tdh Gaza and Tdh Egypt, each with different regional and national priorities to take account of during the planning process. Prior to the live participatory workshops inFocus conducted a comprehensive review of the planning context and situation faced, and in several instances incorporated the development of a Theory of Change (TOC). Although the Theory of Change technique is known for its evaluation purpose, it is also used to enable strategic planning. Strategic planning and TOC development provide slightly different, but mutually reinforcing strategic perspectives to organisations, to strengthen the end product. 

The strategic planning process involved a meticulous analysis of regional and country contexts, including a situational analysis, stakeholder analysis, and organisational analysis. A Theory of Change was also developed to establish a shared understanding of the wider context of social change and the specific changes Tdh aimed to contribute to. 

A crucial aspect of the planning were the live and online workshops with Tdh staff and stakeholders, which adopted a participatory approach. Internal stakeholders were actively engaged, enhancing the quality and ownership of the planning process. 

“I had a fear that the strategic workshop would be quite boring and very program based but it was so interesting, and I was proud to contribute to the creative sessions”. Tdh Jordan staff participant 

The different workshop stages involved formulating a three-year practical vision, identification of barriers and roadblocks, and the development of innovative strategies and overall strategic directions to pursue. These culminated in a clear set of implementation plans to drive progress across the 3 to 5-year timeframe.  

The Deliverables

The culmination of the planning process resulted in the development of comprehensive strategic planning documents and in some instances a Theory of Change diagram and narrative. Both documents aimed to guide internal operations, management, and future development within the delegations.

 

The Feedback

Feedback from across the Tdh delegations indicated a unanimous recommendation of the planning workshops to their colleagues and other organisations (9/10). All the workshop participants who responded to our post-planning surveys stated they would ‘highly recommend’ the planning workshops. Participants appreciated the participatory approach and rated this component as either ‘good’ or ‘excellent,’ highlighting their genuine inclusion in the planning process. 

“It was a collaborative process where everyone was brought in and encouraged to participate. It was really interesting and a very new approach but so useful. It gave us a real sense of ownership to the process”.  Staff participant at the MENA strategy workshop 

The strategic planning initiative successfully equipped Tdh delegations with actionable insights and a roadmap for future endeavors, reinforcing their commitment to child protection and welfare globally. 

“I can honestly say we would not have managed to do it without your support, and overall (and based on the feedback I have received from the participants) I felt the participation and the outputs were extremely strong.”  Tdh Country Director