Steps of Planning cycle

Planning is the process which involves defining a problem, assessing the extend to which the problem affects the society, formulating goals with a view to solving the problem, assessing the various intervention measures based on their advantages and disadvantages, selecting the best mode of action, taking steps to implement it, monitoring the progress of the implemented system and evaluation of the results.

The steps of a planning cycle are:

  1. Analysis of the situation
    • The first step in health planning is the analysis of the current situation.
    • The different aspects to be studied are:
      • Population – age and sex structure
      • Morbidity and mortality values
      • Epidemiology and geographic distribution of the disease under consideration
      • Existing healthcare facilities
      • Technical manpower available
      • Facilities for training healthcare staff
      • Awareness of the community regarding the disease
  2. List out the objectives and goals
    • If there are no clear objectives and goals, a plan cannot be implemented efficiently
    • At the central level, the objectives would be more general and with each successive level, the objectives will become more specific
  3. Assessment of resources
    • The available material, capital and human resources should be assessed
  4. Fix priorities
    • There may not be enough resources to attain all the objectives
    • So priority goals should be listed out and resources should be allocated to these
  5. Write up formulated plan
    • Once priorities are laid out, a systematic plan should be made to attain them
    • All the major steps should be included with the resources required for each step and the expected outcome
  6. Programming and implementation
    • Once the plan has been approved, it has to be implemented
    • If not properly implemented, even a good plan will fail
    • Implementation requires proper administrative support
  7. Monitoring
    • Monitoring refers to the assessment of the day to day functioning of the program
    • Any suggestions for improvement should be implemented
  8. Evaluation
    • Evaluation refers to the assessing the final outcome of the plan
    • A good plan should have an in built evaluation system

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