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World-first guide on strategic planning for NHRIs

Graphic: Staff of Samoa's NHRI take part in strategic planning discussions

The APF has published a hands-on guide to support national human rights institutions at each stage of the strategic planning process.

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The APF has published a comprehensive, hands-on guide to support national human rights institutions (NHRIs) prepare clear and effective strategic plans.

A first-of-its-kind resource, the guide provides practical information for each stage of the strategic planning process, including:

  • Planning and setting the foundations for the strategic plan
  • Assessing the external environment and determining priorities
  • Clarifying organisational capability and drafting the strategic plan
  • Executing the strategic plan and ensuring it is a 'live' document through ongoing review.

The guide includes a range of tools and activities to support the different stages of the strategic planning process, as well as checklists, reference materials and case studies from Samoa's Office of the Ombudsman / NHRI.


Beyond compliance, there are many advantages for NHRIs in having a strategic plan. The most important is about having impact and making human rights a reality in people’s day-to-day lives.

Kieren Fitzpatrick, Director, APF secretariat

NHRIs can face many competing internal and external pressures and expectations when they set their strategic priorities.

They also need to ensure that they are able to meet their national and international obligations, as well as respond to unforeseen events and issues.

"Strategic planning provides a way to address these different challenges," APF Manager of Capacity Development Kate Turner-Mann said.

"It is a robust approach that helps an NHRI identify its priorities, make decisions about resourcing and ensure that the organisation can deliver on its commitments."

Ms Turner-Mann said the APF guide was designed for use by the leadership group within an NHRI, including Commission members, the senior executive officer and senior managers.

"Of course, strategic planning is most effective when everyone in the NHRI can contribute their ideas and insights to these discussions," she said.


Graphic: Staff of Timor Leste's NHRI discuss and plan together


The Guide to Strategic Planning and companion Toolkit, which includes all planning tools and activities, is available on the APF website.

The APF will begin using the guide in strategic planning programs for APF members.

The APF is grateful for the collaboration with MartinJenkins Consultancy, represented by Joanna Collinge and Robin Veenis, to prepare this guide to life.

Date: 10 March 2020


Image credits

  1. Staff of Samoa's NHRI take part in strategic planning discussions - APF/Faso Aishath
  2. Staff of Timor Leste's NHRI discuss and plan together - APF/ Faso Aishath