1.4 Creating an action plan

Now the different components of an action plan have been introduced, it is your turn to create an action plan for a specific change you would like to see.

Activity 1.1: Creating an action plan for a change that you would like to see

If you studied other modules on this course, you will have learned about many different rights that children have. You will also know from your experience and local knowledge about difficulties that children might have in realising their rights, including securing their right to health.

Based on your knowledge and experience of this subject to date, can you think of a change you would like to see happen involving children’s health and/or their rights in your region or your community? What specifically would you like to see change? What would need to happen to make a difference to realising or advancing children’s rights? This should be something that you can influence, even if it means you need to involve other people. For this activity, think about a relatively small to medium-sized change you would like to see, for example a project to inform children about their rights, or a project to educate parents, or a project to make your practice more child-friendly. You could undertake this activity in your workplace and involve co-workers if you can.

  1. The first step in creating your action plan is to define your objective clearly. When you have thought about a change you would like to see, write this in the form of an objective in the table below. Remember that objectives should be: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. You can check back on the definition of an effective objective described earlier if you are not sure.

  2. The second step is to think about the tasks that will be needed to help you achieve your objective. Try to identify at least four tasks. Write the tasks in the task column, in a way that describes the act of doing something.

  3. Next, think about who will lead each task. It might be you for all the tasks, or you might be able to ask others to take a lead. Do you need to consult them first? Write the name of one person under the 'Responsibility' column for each task.

  4. Are there specific resources you and other responsible people can call on? Write these in the next column.

  5. Now think about the timescales. It is sometimes helpful to think about the end date first. When would you like to have completed the plan by? Think about how long each task will take. Be realistic about this, bearing in mind the people and other resources available, conflicting tasks for other objectives, and whether any tasks can be carried out at the same time.

  6. Finally, what will be your measures of success for each task? This is often the most challenging part of the action plan. Be as specific as you can here and try to describe measures in a way that contribute to your overall objective. If you are having difficulty identifying a suitable measure of success, then this is sometimes an indication that you have not defined your task clearly enough. Go back to the task and try to be more specific about the action that will be taken.

Once you have completed the action plan, spend some time reading and reviewing it. Read each action carefully, thinking about where improvements can be made to the plan.


Did you find this activity difficult to do?

If you developed the action plan on your own, you may have found it more challenging, as you only have your own experiences and views to draw on. You might not have all the information you need and you have no way of checking with others whether the plan is achievable or realistic.

It is not unusual for one person to begin the process of drafting an action plan, but it is nearly always necessary to involve others before finalising it. Involving others as early as possible in the process is one of the best ways of building support for your plan. We will return to this discussion in the next section.

Tasks, resources and measures of success

Ten characteristics of a good action plan