SHIFT NC’s 2019-2021 strategic plan will guide our work to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health throughout North Carolina by focusing on the following strategic priorities (click the link to see outputs associated with each priority):
- Sexual and reproductive health services, programs, and information are available, accessible, acceptable, and responsive to adolescents and young adults.
- Communities are supportive of adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive health.
- Policies and advocates support adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive health.
- SHIFT NC is a valued partner.
- SHIFT NC is an effective organization.
Work within these priorities will improve systems that provide sexual and reproductive health programs, information, and services to adolescents and young adults. All of the work within these priorities aligns with SHIFT NC's mission, values, and points of unity.
Strategic Priorities and Outputs
We make progress on our goals by focusing on five strategic priorities. We express these as outputs – specific results that we need to achieve to accomplish our higher level purpose and contribute to our mission and vision. For each strategic priority, we have sub-outputs and key activities. Our activities will evolve as our work progresses.
- Quality of sexual and reproductive health services is strengthened and sustained.
- Sex education programs are strengthened and sustained in school and community settings across the state.
- Adolescents and young adults inform programs and initiatives.
- Adolescents and young adults have access to information and connections to resources.
- Systems and youth-serving organizations that support and serve vulnerable adolescents and young adults are prepared to address sexual and reproductive health through programs, information, and services.
- Systems and youth-serving organizations that provide sexual and reproductive health programs, information, and/or services are effective at serving vulnerable adolescent and young adults populations.
- Members of communities have access to information and resources.
- Parents and caregivers support and are engaged with improving adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive health in their communities and with the young people in their lives.
- Faith-based communities are engaged in improving adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive health.
- North Carolina state and local laws and policies support adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive health.
- Internal policies and practices within public and private institutions and systems support high quality sexual and reproductive health care services, information, and programs for adolescents and young adults.
- Stakeholders and influencers have increased understanding of best practices around adolescent and young adults’ sexual and reproductive health.
- Social and political movements advance adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive health.
- SHIFT NC has new partnerships with national, state, and local organizations, and stronger collaboration with current partners.
- SHIFT NC learns and shares lessons and resources with partners.
- SHIFT NC celebrates work of partners and amplifies partners’ successes.
- SHIFT NC has organizational policies and procedures that are consistent with best practices for each field.
- SHIFT NC uses well-defined metrics and systems to measure our work.
- SHIFT NC engages in and learns from internal quality assessment and improvement practices.
- SHIFT NC generates information and evidence and shares it with the field.
- SHIFT NC values and applies a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion to our work and internal operations.
- SHIFT NC’s funding is expanded and diversified.
About Our Strategic Plan and Strategic Planning Process
How we do our work and the priorities we set for our own behavior are critical to our organizational culture and our success. We hold the following organizational values, which we use to guide our organizational decision-making.
- We aspire to be equitable and inclusive, and we value diversity in our staff, board, partners, and communities. We respect all people and want to improve the balance of power and privilege.
- We value the expertise of our partners, and work with them to achieve positive impact for adolescents and their sexual health.
- We are guided by evidence and the voices and needs of young people; we advance the field by contributing new evidence and innovating when needed.
- We operate with integrity, holding ourselves to high standards regarding transparency, trustworthiness, and humility.
How We Define Adolescents and Young Adults
SHIFT NC works with adults to build their capacity to support young people’s sexual health throughout adolescence and young adulthood. While definitions of adolescence and young adulthood vary, we focus our attention on improving support for people ranging from puberty to college age (generally ages 10 – 24). These young people live in different environments, with different lived experiences and needs. As noted above, we believe that all young people have the right to self-determination and information and support regarding their sexual and reproductive health.
What We Mean by Sexual and Reproductive Health
Adolescent sexual and reproductive health serves young people’s health needs related to pregnancy and prevention, HIV and STIs, adolescent development, sexuality, and access to care. In addition to working to expand the capacity of communities to address these issues we explore the intersections of sexual and reproductive health with other health topics, like substance use.
We work with adults who work with young people. We support professionals in the education and health care systems; those who work with youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems; advocates and policymakers; and those who work in community-based organizations. We also provide information and resources to parents and to community members through community organizations and networks.
Our Strategic Planning Process
SHIFT NC expanded its mission in 2015, and when we launched the current planning process we recognized that we still had significant room to live into that mission. Our approach was to identify the core outputs that we must achieve so that we see the broader results; we used the socio-ecological model which emphasizes the interconnectedness of individuals with their communities, the institutions that serve them, and the policy environment.
Our process engaged all staff, our board of directors, and external stakeholders. An internal Strategic Planning Steering Committee shepherded the process of collecting and incorporating input from many key stakeholders.
SHIFT NC staff contributed greatly to the strategic plan at many points throughout the process. Staff worked together to help identify our overarching goal, outputs, suboutputs, and activities. In addition, staff identified and interviewed key stakeholders to garner external input. SHIFT NC’s Equity and Inclusion Work Group provided ongoing review to ensure the plan incorporated an equity and inclusion lens.
SHIFT NC’s Board of Directors provided oversight of the plan’s development, as well as critical input on goals and priorities.
We are deeply appreciative of the external stakeholders who provided invaluable feedback about how SHIFT NC could align itself to make a meaningful impact on North Carolina’s young people. These stakeholders helped guide the committee’s understanding of priority needs in North Carolina and opportunities to support young people’s health.