Setting the objectives and priorities of the organization

The broad objectives of the funding body are likely to be included in the enabling legislation and, if so, there may be comparatively little flexibility, depending on how these are stated. There will, however, be opportunities to develop more specific objectives for the organization to address and it is important to identify priorities and directions for action in the early stages and to advise stakeholders of these. Lessons can be learned from the Health Promotion Commission in Estonia, which used the following criteria to establish priorities:

  • burden of disease;
  • cost of treatments for various diseases;
  • amenability to change through health promotion strategies;
  • consultation with other health agencies and stakeholders to avoid duplication; and
  • consideration of the roles and responsibilities of other organizations.

Priorities may relate to specific health areas and population groups, the determinants of health behaviour, etc. They may also focus on issues such as capacity building or working in partnership with a range of organizations and in different settings. A critical step in the early establishment phase is the development of a strategic plan that clearly prioritizes key goals and strategies to address the stated objectives of the organization.

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