International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Key Action Planning Steps

As with many aspects of SAP development (and strategic planning in general), there is no right or wrong approach in terms of defining the key action planning steps. The list below gives a set of examples but this list can be expanded or contracted according to the needs of the project.

  • Goals are general guidelines that explain what you want to achieve in your water system - they are usually long-term and represent global visions such as “reduce pollution by…..” or “increase biodiversity by…..”
  • Objectives define strategies or implementation steps to attain the identified goals. Unlike goals, objectives are specific, measurable, and have a defined completion date. Together with the Actions (below), these will be based on the outputs from the economic, political and social analysis of options and alternatives
  • Actions What are the actions, activities or tasks that must be carried out? Again these will be based the outputs from the economic, political and social analysis of options and alternatives
  • Time required for implementation How long will each Goal, Objective and Action take to complete? Usually, these are defined as short term (1 to 3 years), medium term (3 to 5 years) and long term (5 years +)
  • Financing requirement. How much will it cost to complete the action? This can be a grand total or broken down per country.
  • Priority Can the actions be ranked in terms of their priority? For example, High, Medium, Low
  • Stakeholders involved. Which stakeholder will be responsible for carrying out the task? (e.g. which government agency, local community, international agency etc).
  • Indicator of success There will be a requirement from the GEF to evaluate the success of each action in terms of making progress toward strategic goals using GEF process, stress reduction and environmental status indicators.
  • Uncertainties.  What are the main assumptions that have to be made for the action to be carried out? What are the main risks that will stop the action being completed?

Examples of the key action planning steps, similar to those described above, can be found in a number of SAP documents.