In 2008 the Governing Board and Management Committee of the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Outreach Project approved a review to be undertaken as a preliminary exercise to developing a strategic action plan. This review was to look back over the 10 years of DROP’s existence and to highlight areas which might usefully be considered as part of a strategic action plan.
The review examined the external factors in which DROP had operated for 10 years, changing trends in society, in drug use and in drug policy at a national level in Ireland and at the development of DROP’s highly reputable services and provision.
The review focused on the organisation under the following headings:
- Governance and Strategy
- Services and Provisions
- Communication and Networking
- Financial Structuring
- Staffing and Management
- Marketing and Promotion
Specific recommendations were made and issued raised under each heading, however on a whole the findings were positive. The key results were:
- Impressive development over 10 years
- Ability to deal with difficult conditions and problems
- High levels of commitment
- Good financial management
- Good reputation
DROP was found to be well respected in it’s field, have a team of highly motivated and committed staff, often working under difficult conditions and a good reputation with funders and other agencies. Main weaknesses were a lack of strategic planning and uncertain funding structures. It was felt that good governance will be essential for DROP if it is to survive and prosper in what is a difficult economic climate, which could also see a rise in drug use, mental health issues and unemployment.
Following on from this organisational review it was agreed that DROP develop a three year strategic plan. Strategic planning is about asking the people whose actions will create the future what they want that future to be. Where do you want to be in three years? Not where do you think you’ll be, not where do you forecast you’ll be but where do you want to be. Once the organisation identifies where they want to be they ask the next big question. What has to change in order for us to get there? Those changes are articulated as a small set of strategic goals with implementation plans that start immediately.
The purpose of our action plan is to provide a vision for the immediate future of DROP in the form of a document that addresses how individuals and families experiencing addiction issues can be better served through a coordinated approach which is properly resourced. This action plan will also allow the staff and board of management of DROP to highlight the accomplishments to be achieved over the next few years, in what will be difficult financial times.
The action plan has both internal and external audiences. The internal audiences consisting of staff, board of directors and management committee members. The external audience will be more wide-ranging, including funders and financial sponsors, local community agencies and providers of addiction rehabilitation/prevention services.