Commitments, Objectives, and Primary Activities
From 2020 to 2022, VIVAT International has endeavored to develop its five-year strategic planning. This effort came out from the final evaluation of VIVAT International at the 20th Anniversary of the organization. Following the recommendation of the final assessment, the Board of Trustees (BOT) of VIVAT International formed an Ad Hoc Committee to make a strategic planning proposal. Having approved the proposal, the BOT pointed out a team to facilitate the process of designing VIVAT’s action plan. The process was conducted in a participatory, decentralized, and contextualized way. It involved all the VIVAT’s entities, including Member Congregations (MCs), National Branches (NBs), National Groups (NGs), and VIVAT Offices.
Dreaming, Identifying, and Naming
The first step in creating the Strategic Plan was dreaming together. The Strategic Planning Team (SP Team) made a video describing VIVAT’s vision, mission, and goals and examples of how VIVAT members recently addressed social justice issues and concerns in the grassroots communities and brought them to the international forum through UN mechanisms. The video helped inspire participants to envision a shared dream during the workshops and identify what VIVAT needed to do or change to make it happen.
The SP Team then summarized and analyzed the input received from 13 VIVAT groups that had participated in the dreaming process, found core messages, and identified core commitments and corresponding objectives. Based on this process, the SP team identified four commitments: (a) develop VIVAT as a prophetic movement, (b) strengthen and focus on advocacy, (c) improve capacity building for advocacy, and (d) create communication strategy and networks. Each commitment has two or four objectives. Both commitments and objectives overlap and strengthen each other.
VIVAT entities (MCs, NBs, NGs) were requested to develop their Action Plan based on the approved commitments and objectives. To this end, the SP team held a few workshops for VIVAT groups collectively and individually.
The SP Team received individual action plans from 15 different VIVAT entities. These included 6 Member Congregations (ASC, CSC, MCCJ, MSCS, SSpS, SVD), 3 National Branches (India, Indonesia, Philippines), 5 National Groups (Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, USA), and the VIVAT offices. Each plan differed in context, content, structure, and formulation. After compiling these action plans according to commitments and objectives, the SP Team summarized, harmonized the actions under common themes, and reformulated them into primary activities. They identified points of convergence for building synergy and collaboration among VIVAT entities. Based on this, specific examples of possible actions are given to carry out each primary activity.
Looking at Big Picture
The VIVAT joint Action Plan consists of 4 commitments, 13 objectives, and 31 primary activities. This Action Plan presents the big picture of what VIVAT International intends to accomplish in the next five years. It provides for the particularities of each congregation/ region/ country/national branch and group. The action plan connects commitments and goals but allows for differentiated activities.
The Action Plan serves as a guide, inspiration, and encouragement to each VIVAT entity in revising its action plan. After the adoption and approval of the Strategic Plan by the BOT, the SP Team will request each entity to review and, when necessary, revise the content and structure of its action plan using the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). They may also add additional activities inspired by the VIVAT joint Action Plan.
Each group will determine which commitments and objectives to focus on based on the particular context and will identify specific actions that are appropriate to their situation. We encourage those (MCs, NBs, NGs) who are still working on their action plan to complete it and submit it to the SP team.
VIVAT entities will determine their primary activities and specific actions to carry out the Strategic Plan every year.
We acknowledge with great gratitude and appreciate all contributions of VIVAT members and groups/entities in making VIVAT Action Plans. We hope that these Action Plans will build synergy and collaboration to help develop VIVAT as a prophetic movement, strengthen and focus its advocacy, improve capacity and effective communication, and increase a sense of belonging among VIVAT members.