Strategic and operational planning processes often follow a series of stages, with the strategic plan being developed first, followed by the operational plans that are needed to put it into effect. Depending on their situation and institutional development, NPMs may follow these stages in a different order, and some of them not at all.
Internal organisational analysis. During this stage, NPMs may ask themselves the following questions: what is their internal capacity? where are there gaps in terms of human or financial resources? How those gaps can be filled in order to more effectively carry out its mandate and achieve its strategic objectives?
Analysis of risks and of needs. During this stage, the NPM may ask itself, and consult its partners about the following: what are the most important risks and root causes of torture and ill-treatment in the country in which we operate? Responding to this question might involve mapping the different places of deprivation of liberty in the country, convening discussions among relevant experts, and examining the reports of relevant international or regional experts, including, for example, the Committee against Torture. This analysis may form a useful baseline, which the NPM can later use to measure progress.
Definition of objectives or strategic goals, taking into account its mandate, powers and resources. While the vision and mission are likely to be broad statements, the NPM’s objectives or strategic goals are what it thinks that it can achieve within the strategic planning period. They thus need to be realistic and mindful of the factors outside the NPM’s control that will have an impact on its ability to put them into practice (for example, the existence of political will to change law and policy).
Throughout the planning process, engagement with civil society organisations and other oversight institutions may be useful and contribute to later success in implementation. This includes consulting at the initial stages, in order to ensure that the objectives respond to the most important risks in detention. It might also include consulting with a smaller advisory group during the drafting stage, such as NPM’s advisory councils where they exist