4.2 Why programme strategy is important

A programme strategy is important because it:

  • recognises that CARE will not be able to do everything that is required to address all humanitarian needs in a particular place. Choices must be made to ensure that CARE’s efforts are concentrated and targeted. This helps us be as effective as possible. CARE’s efforts should also complement the efforts of the national government and other relief organisations
  • ensures that CARE’s response is contextualised and adapted to the specific conditions of the emergency. Every context is unique. Responses must be designed to meet the needs and challenges posed by the particular emergency situation
  • outlines the overall framework for CARE’s response, which allows operational plans to be developed that are adequate to support the desired scale and nature of response. The programme strategy helps drive the appropriate scale-up of all other operations. For example, it allows logistics, human resources and other support functions to plan for a scale-up commensurate with the goals outlined in the strategy
  • prevents ad hoc and reactive responses that are not based on sound analysis, thus helping to avoid a poorly coordinated programme
  • allows the analysis of scenarios to help guide strategic decision-making about CARE’s operations as the context changes
  • helps think through the implications of the emergency response to CARE’s already existing projects and programmes in the country, and how to adjust them accordingly
  • helps communicate CARE’s intentions and activities to a wide range of stakeholders, both internal and external. In particular, it defines CARE’s role within a humanitarian response to fill critical gaps, while at the same time informing other key stakeholders where we believe CARE’s capacity lies
  • provides a framework for fundraising and proposals, to ensure that funds raised can support priority activities and needs, and to help avoid funding being accepted for inappropriate activities.