ARCHIVED - The Public Health Agency of Canada – Strategic Plan: 2007 – 2012, Information, Knowledge, Action



PHAC Strategic Plan - How We Got There

The PHAC Five-Year Strategic Plan was developed through an inclusive and iterative process involving PHAC staff and senior management, and was informed by public health experts and key stakeholders. The process was led by the Strategic Policy Directorate.

An employee Reference Group was integral to the development and credibility of the Plan. Members of the group were selected by senior management as being a representative sample of PHAC employees who are considered leaders among their peers and positive team players in their occupational groups. Throughout the process, they were invaluable in providing input and feedback and engaging staff. They have been and will continue to be the ultimate “champions” of the Strategic Plan by supporting and advocating for both the content of the Plan as well as for the process for its development.

Early in the process, PHAC’s executive team and the employee Reference Group hosted a retreat with a group of stakeholders to hear external perspectives about what the public health and policy environment may look like over the next five years and to reflect on the implications for the Agency. Topics included changing Canadian demographics, the political environment, public health human resources and capacity, stakeholder expectations, and significant developments on the public health horizon, including Aboriginal public health and the impact of the environment. The same group of experts was also invited to provide feedback on the draft of the Plan. The information and advice obtained from these stakeholders informed the contextual basis for the Strategic Plan and contributed to the thinking around PHAC's policy priorities for the next five years.

Throughout the process, groups of employees met across the country to share their thoughts and vision for the Agency. Employees agreed that PHAC's work is critical and that the Agency needs to show leadership and vision. They felt that the time is right for a Strategic Plan that reflects current realities and articulates a clear vision of the Agency's directions and priorities to staff, partners and stakeholders. But from a more personal perspective, they also wanted to make sure that the Plan would show how their important work fits into the bigger strategic picture and how the directions and priorities will influence their day-to-day work. They also agreed that it is crucial that the Strategic Plan build in strong mechanisms for implementation and accountability.

PHAC’s Strategic Plan is as much about the process as it is about the outcome. In working together toward a vision and a path forward, staff and senior management came together and worked in partnership, gaining a better understanding of the Agency’s work, its opportunities and challenges, and the expertise and commitment of its staff. We are proud of the inclusiveness of our process and the consensus that we achieved. The culture of teamwork and level of consensus will provide a strong foundation for us to continue to work together, in partnership with our stakeholders, toward realizing our vision and delivering on priorities.


The results of a typical "brainstorm" on the Strategic Plan

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