Development Cooperation Handbook/The development aid organization/The Organization’s mission
The mission of an organization is its final aim , the justification of its existence, and, at the same time, that characterizes it as different from all other organizations. The Organization’s mission statement. tells the fundamental purpose of the organization. It concentrates on the present. It defines the beneficiaries and the cultural approach. It informs of the desired level of performance. The mission statement must be reflected on the organizational culture and vice-versa. A mission statement can resemble a vision statement in a few companies, but that can be a grave mistake. It can confuse people. The vision statement can galvanize the people to achieve defined objectives, even if they are stretch objectives, provided it can be elucidated in SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) terms. A mission statement provides a path to realize the vision in line with its values. These statements have a direct bearing on the bottom line and success of the organization.
Attention: Many people mistake vision statement for mission statement. The Vision describes a future identity while the Mission serves as an ongoing and time-independent guide. The Mission describes why it is important to achieve the Vision. A Mission statement defines the purpose or broader goal for being in existence or in the business and can remain the same for decades if crafted well. A Vision statement is more specific in terms of both the future state and the time frame. Vision describes what will be achieved if the organization is successful. Which comes first? The mission statement or the vision statement? That depends. If you have a new start up business, new program or plan to re engineer your current services, then the vision will guide the mission statement and the rest of the strategic plan. If you have an established business where the mission is established, then many times, the mission guides the vision statement and the rest of the strategic plan. Either way, you need to know your fundamental purpose - the mission, your current situation in terms of internal resources and capabilities (strengths and/or weaknesses) and external conditions (opportunities and/or threats), and where you want to go - the vision for the future. It's important that you keep the end or desired result in sight from the start.
The Organization’s mission statement
Understanding Organization's strategy for overcoming poverty and suffering We need to begin with a good understanding of Organization's approach. Organization's global programme aims to deliver significant impact on poverty and suffering through long-term development, campaigning and advocacy, and humanitarian preparedness and response. The organization may also have prepared a Strategic Plan that outlines Organization overall priorities. These have been established through a process of examining trends, looking at opportunities for change to happen where the Organization has the capacity to make a contribution, reviewing the successes and failures in our current work and looking at organisational issues such as funding. All programme and project work is guided by a set of Principles and expected quality standard. The mission statement must be reflected on the organizational culture and vice-versa.
See also: Characteristics of a development aid organization; For Understanding Organization's strategy one need to understand how the Organizations answers to these questions: What is "quality" in development/humanitarian programmes and how can we set the "standards"? What does it mean "putting gender equality at the heart of development and humanitarian work" and what does it imply at programme management level? What are the links between knowledge management, learning and institutional development? How can we manage collaborations so as to generate a sense of partnership and solidarity with key development stakeholders? How can we manage collaborations so as to improve one's own organizational capacity? How can we manage collaborations so as to achieve high reputation?