To facilitate the development process, University of Lapland professor Pikka-Maaria Laine guided the participants through Results-Based Management (RBM) methodology. This approach to planning is commonly used in the UN and development agencies. One of the key features of RBM is a focus on the pathways from inputs (resources) and activities (tasks) towards outputs (products and services within the project), outcomes (effects on the target group) and finally impact (longer-term effects on society). Another aspect of RBM is the importance of clear, measurable progress indicators at all steps in this process.
The group applied this approach to analyze our current Strategic Plan and the supporting activities detailed in the Strategic Implementation Plan. This participatory approach with UArctic staff was a very helpful way to start this planning process, and one that will carry through the development of the new strategy. UArctic will be engaging with its many constituents throughout the next months, including at the next meetings of the leaders of Thematic Networks, Rectors' Forum, Council breakout sessions, and the Board of Governors. Additionally, we will undertake consultations with our key external partners.
At this stage, we can confidently say that the main elements of our current strategy still reflect the core principles of our organization, and do not need substantial revision. The main focus of this work will be on improving the way we communicate our mission, values and goals, how we can more effectively demonstrate that we are meeting those goals. This strategic development must also be coordinated in parallel with a review and renewal of UArctic’s legal status, and a new fundraising strategy to attract philanthropic giving. These steps will ensure that UArctic continues to deliver good value to our members as we work towards our vision of An Empowered North - With Shared Voices.