Strategic Thinking and Planning in Development Management


1 & 2 weeks



Course Description
This course presents and highlights the benefits and best practices of strategic thinking and planning as it is a crucial tool in international development management. A working definition of strategic planning is a framework for comprehensive long-range planning that attempts to articulate the organization’s strategic priorities to manage results. Strategic planning is the process of determining what an organization wants to be in the future and how it will get there.  The organization examines the environment in which it competes, questions fundamental assumptions about its mission, and creatively attempts to envision its role in a different and more effective way. It is a delimitation of strategic objectives and a description of how resources will be deployed to accomplish them. A strategic plan should be prepared whether it is managed at a country/national, regional, central, or organizational level. In this course, participants will learn about strategic thinking and planning processes in the context of development management.

Course Learning Objectives:
This short course aims to equip the mid-and senior-level staff with the skills to succeed in achieving their organizational goals. At the end of the program, participants should be able to understand the effective techniques for acknowledging and motivating staff, dealing with management challenges, reducing redundancy, setting goals and standards of performance, task delegation, and providing both rewarding and motivational feedback.

Course Content
The “Strategic Thinking and Planning in Development Management” course has some of the following key areas of learning for one and 2 weeks organized into the following modules:


•Organization’s Background
•Schedule of Activities
•Ground Rules
•Dos & Don’ts Rules and Regulations

Conceptual framework of strategic thinking and planning

•Explaining the concept of strategic planning – history, theoretical understandings, the purposes, processes, and benefits of strategic planning
•What is a strategy?
•The three big strategic questions
•Four fundamental questions addressed by strategic planning
•Purpose of a strategic plan
•What is the business model?
•Difference between strategy and business model
•The distinctions between strategic planning (Long Term) and Traditional planning (Short term/reactive)
•Crafting and executing strategy
•The phases of strategic planning – Thinking, pre-planning, and implementation

Thinking outside the Box

•Nine dot exercise and analysis
•Breakthrough thinking and behaving
•What are the Benefits of Strategic plans?

Crafting & Executing Strategy

•Strategic intent and thinking are the starting point
•Strategy crafting & execution process
•Crafting a strategic vision
•Vision and Mission statement
•Setting objectives
•Transform the strategy into actions
•Implementing and executing strategy
•Initiating corrective actions

What are the approaches and models used in strategic planning?

•Mission statement
•SWOT Analysis
•Environmental Scan
•Internal tool
•External tool

Internal Tools for Strategic Planning

•SWOT Analysis
•Balanced scorecard approach
•Scenario planning
•Steps of scenario planning
•Value-chain analysis
•Characteristics of value chain analysis

External Tools of Strategic planning

•Environmental scanning
•Porter’s Five Forces Model
•Driving Forces
•Critical Success Factors

How to develop strategic planning

•Strategic objectives – PESTLE Analysis
•Strategic initiatives
•Action steps – Who, What, When

Strategic Planning Processes

•What are the ten steps in the strategic planning process?
•Set context interviews, surveys community profile, and organizational review
•Define strategic framework – vision, mission
•Define goals – current goal assessment
•Refine and ratify a strategic framework
•Governance review
•Implementation plan

Crafting, Implementing & Executing Strategy

•Creative thinking
•Crafting, vision, mission, objectives
•Data &information gathering
•Strategic analytical skills
•Group-based problem solving/conflict management
•Action planning
•SWOT Analysis
•Effective communication
•Efficient decision-making


•Benefits and limitations of Strategic planning
•Best practices
•Case Studies of strategic planning
•Design and Group presentation of strategic planning by participants
•Field trips
•Course evaluation
•End of Course

Learning Outcome:
At the end of the course, participants should be able to:
1. Strengthen their Strategic Planning techniques and skills.
2. Distinguish and realize the added-value of the Western concept of Strategic Planning to their indigenous approaches to long-range planning.
3. Explain and analyze the tools, skills, and techniques of Strategic Planning, in particular, the S.W.O.T. analysis tool and Vision/Mission revision.
4. Demonstrate how to draw upon their Leadership and Team Building course and skills when engaging and using Strategic Planning processes.
5. Demonstrate their abilities to develop prioritized strategies when planning comprehensively for the allocation/use of national, regional, local, and organizational resources.
6.Design and develop best practices using Strategic Planning as a means to change inefficient organizational culture/environment, resulting in accountability and planned/managed results.

Learning Methodology:
The course is delivered in a workshop setting facilitated by seasoned professional facilitators with practical experience. Active participation is required and the key to the success of the workshops. Other methods used in this course include case studies and problem-solving exercises. Assessment of participant’s performance will be measured through effective class participation, group presentation, group projects, and class attendance. This course combines presentations, lectures, class discussions, group presentations, and problem-solving exercises.

Who should attend?
This course is strongly recommended for managers whose jobs involve planning and supervising subordinates, and for those who want to improve their management skills.

Course Duration:
2 weeks

Training Locations

(a)Stamford, CT, USA
(b)New York City, USA
(c)Washington, DC, USA     (d) Toronto, Canada  (e) Lagos, Nigeria  (f)  Nairobi, Kenya    (g) Dubai, UAE

Scheduled Dates:
Jun 15-26; Aug 17-28; Oct 19-30, 2022

Course Materials
Course materials include PowerPoint presentation slides, carefully selected reading materials, exercises, case studies, reading references, and a laptop computer.

Course Fees
The course fee is $4,700 USD for 2 weeks. The course fee covers the following: instruction, course materials, and one brand new laptop computer to take home, administration expenses, field trips, cultural programs, and miscellaneous program-related expenses.

How to Register
To receive a letter of invitation and supporting documents, you must complete and forward the registration form to the training director as soon as possible. To participate in this course, the applicant must:

  1. Send a completed application form
  2. Have a bachelor’s degree/or have relevant work experience at the senior management level
  3. Be nominated by the head of his/her department
  4. Be a senior member of the department/organization
  5. Demonstrate a devoted interest in the course
  6. Have proof of English proficiency
  7. Demonstrate proof of financial sponsorship of the course.


For more information, please contact:

Center for Executive Training and International Development

295 Madison Avenue

12th Floor

New York, NY 10017, USA

Phone: 917 753 7225, +602 684 3228