CARE Plans a New Strategic Package

Article excerpt

CARE Plans a New Strategic Package

Since the delivery of the first CARE package in 1946, CARE has witnessed and, in some sense, helped shape the enormous changes that have taken place both in the developing world and in the United States.

Recently, CARE undertook to develop its second five-year organizational plan. The world was changing: New roles and expectations were emerging in the relationship between the developed and the developing world, and as the American public became more aware of poverty at home, a new sentiment was growing toward overseas assistance. For CARE, the new decade presented a different set of challenges and opportunities. To plan for the '90s, we first had to make sure we had a well-defined, forward-looking strategic perspective to guide our decisions.

We started by looking at our organizational purpose and beliefs. As written five years ago, CARE's purpose is to help the developing world's poor in their efforts to achieve long-term social and economic well-being and to offer relief in times of crisis when there is acute suffering and life is threatened. Our commitment is to reach new standards of excellence in offering disaster and emergency relief and in supporting self-sustaining development through the provision of technical, material and managerial assistance in combinations appropriate to local needs and priorities. We are also committed to giving Americans the means to make a difference in the lives of people who live in poverty and deprivation.

We then developed a set of strategic objectives:

* Maintain and augment our preeminent position in emergency and disaster relief based on CARE's experience, logistical expertise and effective management practices;

* Increase the scope and impact of CARE's development programs in bringing about sustained improvement in the conditions of the poor in the developing world;

* Mobilize increased support and build new donor constituencies who select CARE as a preeminent agency in development and relief.

Programmatically, CARE's challenge is clear: It must focus its efforts and design program responses to have the greatest impact on the greatest number of the Third World poor.

With respect to broadening our constituency, the challenge is equally clear: We must increase donor income and broaden our base of support in a highly competitive market.

The key issues with respect to both challenges quickly presented themselves, and for each of the issues, a set of options was identified and evaluated from which the following major strategic thrusts were adopted.

Program Focus--The results of CARE's situational analyses were unequivocal in stressing the overwhelming and continuing importance of three critical problems that profoundly affect the people of the Third World. …