Development of the new Equinet Strategic Plan 2019-2022

This year marks the final year of Equinet’s current Strategic Plan that has guided the work of the Network since 2015. Therefore, in 2018 the Executive Board has embarked on the journey towards proposing and delivering a new Strategic Plan for our European Network for the period 2019-2022.

This strategic planning process is an important exercise, where we wish to balance continuity and fresh thinking, keeping the best components of Equinet’s work while improving on what we do and innovating in order to continue to meet the needs and priorities of Equality Bodies in the future. Therefore, Equinet has been very keen to make this process as inclusive and participative as possible for all the Members of our Network.

Preparation Phase

Already during 2017 – Board Meeting (Sept 2017) and Equinet AGM (Oct 2017) – preliminary exchange of views with Equinet Board and Membership on potential learnings and priorities ahead for the Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022 was initiated.

On 23 February 2018, during its first meeting this year, the Equinet Board approved the proposed approach to the overall planning process for the preparation of the next Strategic Plan throughout 2018.

In March 2018, the Equinet Secretariat compiled an Internal Report based on

  • the summary review of past external evaluation reports conducted for Equinet,
  • assessment of current operating processes and learnings of the current Strategic Plan,
  • brainstorming notes on potential future priorities identified by previous Board and outcomes of the AGM 2017 discussion groups, and
  • mapping of key European developments and priorities ahead of relevance to Equinet and Equality Bodies.

This internal report and assessment were presented and considered by Equinet Board and Secretariat team, as well as key Working Group moderators as background for developing a vision and Strategic Plan for the Network into 2019 to 2022 during the Equinet Strategic Planning Day Workshop on 14 March 2018. This discussion was facilitated by John Tierney, an external expert in evaluation and strategic planning, with tested facilitation skills and knowledge of Equality Bodies and Equinet.

Membership Consultation

In order to be able to ascertain with great clarity what have been the successful and less successful activities and drivers of the Network in the past years and which future directions should be prioritised, the Equinet Secretariat launched a survey to hear from its Membership regarding current views and experiences towards Equinet and its past and present work, as well as Members’ expectations, priorities and wishes for the future.

The survey was launched in March 2018 with the initial deadline of 3 May, which was then extended to 14 May to allow as many Members to provide feedback as possible. Guided by the principles of inclusive participation, Members were encouraged to involve not only management but also operational staff (and particularly those who have been involved in the work of Equinet in one way or another) through a participative internal consultation, to inform an organisational-wide response to the questionnaire.

We are immensely grateful and appreciative of the high level of participation in this important internal consultation as the received answers are essential in shaping the future direction of our Network. We wish to take this opportunity to thank you very much for your commitment, support and valuable input!

A draft report based on the Membership consultation was prepared by the Secretariat and submitted to the Equinet Board for discussion during the Executive Board Meeting in Brussels on 13 June 2018.

Stakeholders’ Consultation

Further to the Membership consultation, in the month of June 2018, as part of our Strategic Planning Process, Equinet initiated a Stakeholders’ consultation with relevant Civil Society and Social Partners, as well as the European Institutions, Council of Europe, and other International Organizations. A survey questionnaire was disseminated, complementing targeted meetings with a few partners to identify their priorities for the coming years, as well as invite valuable feedback and expectations relating to their cooperation with our European Network, to inform the Equinet Strategic Plan for 2019-2002 and Work Plan 2019. A summary report of the feedback on this survey questionnaire was also compiled by the Secretariat.

Drafting Process and further Consultation with Equinet Board and Membership

Informed by the Equinet Membership and Stakeholder consultation results, as well as Secretariat and Board discussions, by the end of July 2018, the Equinet Secretariat, with the support of John Tierney, will finalise and send to the Equinet Board the First Draft of the Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022 and Draft Template of the Work Plan 2019 for review and feedback by the end of August 2018.

Upon feedback from the Board and relevant considerations by the Secretariat, the Draft Strategic Plan will be shared with Equinet Membership for further consideration and feedback by mid-September 2018.

Finalisation and Adoption

With consideration of feedback from Members on the Draft Strategic Plan, the Equinet Secretariat will finalise the Draft Strategic Plan and Work Plan and submit to the Equinet Board ahead of planned Executive Board Meeting on 9 October 2018.

Once considered and confirmed by the Board, the Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022 and Work Plan 2019 will be subject to final vote and adoption by the Equinet Membership and launching during the Annual General Meeting on 7 November 2018.

More detailed information on the Equinet Strategic Planning Process can be found in the documents provided below. In the meantime, Equinet Secretariat remains at your disposal for any questions you may have (email or call +32 (0)2 212 3183).

Relevant documents:

AGM 2018 Voting Documents

Amendments to Voting Documents

The following documents (see links above) are open to written amendments by members, to be submitted using the appropriate form until Friday, 2 November 2018:

  • Equinet Draft Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022
  • Equinet Draft Work Plan and Budget 2018
  • Draft Minutes of the Equinet AGM 2017

Amendments to these voting items can only be proposed and submitted using the Equinet AGM 2018 amendment form

Please note that while we aim to provide as comprehensive and up to date information on the Strategic Planning Process as possible, as well as strive to follow the set timelines and deadlines during this Process, some changes and adjustments during the overall process are probable. We therefore, thank you for your consideration and flexibility during this important phase for our Network.

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