Planning for Sustainability: Assessing the Management Capabilities of Your Organization


The ability to assess an organization’s management capabilities is rapidly becoming a critical skill for health and family planning managers. As policy makers, national program planners, and donors take an increasingly critical look at program priorities and the use of available resources, their attention is drawn to how well organizations and programs operate. It is no longer sufficient to say that a project or a service is well managed. Managers have to demonstrate that the organization, as well as the program through which the service is delivered, is well managed now and will continue to be in the future.

This issue of The Family Planning Manager explains how organizations move through stages of development as they build their management capabilities, and presents the management development assessment (MDA) methodology, a systematic process for rapidly assessing the management capabilities of your own organization. Two supplements accompany this issue. The Pocket Guide to MDA Indicators provides sample management indicators to help you set measurable indicators for assessing organizational capabilities. The MDA Start-Up Kit provides instructions on developing and administering an MDA questionnaire to collect information on management capabilities and includes a full sample questionnaire. The issue concludes by explaining how to analyze the results of your assessment and develop and implement an MDA action plan, so that you can make lasting management improvements and strengthen the sustainability of your organization.