Skip main navigation

Strategy: a plan to achieve your policy

Strategy as a plan for action.
Policy objectives and outcomes, linked together by strategy

We have already touched briefly on strategy when developing a theory of change. A strategy is a plan of action that is designed to realise your goals and objectives.

Policies guide strategy while strategies aim to realise policy objectives and outcomes.

Policies outline decisions made by an organisation to achieve a specific outcome. Policy can refer to a set of proposals, the decisions of government, a programme of action, an aspiration or expression of general purpose. Once a policy has been agreed or adopted formally, a strategy outlines how that policy is implemented.

Policies cannot make an impact unless they are enacted. The most effective policies include action plans, which help translate the goals and objectives of the policy into outputs, outcomes and impact.

How does it all fit together?

Put simply, goals set the vision and a desired impact or targets. Policies indicate commitment to the goal through outlining clear objectives. Strategy is the plan of action to realise these objectives. Programmes are part of the strategy, creating aligned activities with meaningful and measurable outputs and outcomes which contribute to the desired impact (covered more in week 3).

Let’s look into this in more detail with reference to the SDGs.

This article is from the free online

Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing Effective Policies and Programmes

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education