Stages of Practical Use of Strategic Planning Principles in the Municipalities of Lithuania

Algirdas Astrauskas, Gediminas Česonis

Abstract


The article explains the terms of strategic planning and strategic management and presents information about development of use of strategic planning principles in the public administration sector in Lithuania (particularly – in local municipalities of Lithuania) since 1990 till present. Scientific articles, planning documents and mass-media are likely to use similar terms of strategic management and strategic planning. But their interpretations vary. The article makes two conclusions concerning the points of view on the relationships of strategic planning and strategic management: (1) strategic planning is a part of the whole strategic management process within organization; (2) strategic management is a stage of strategic planning evolution, a form of strategic planning. Strategic planning in the local municipalities of Lithuania has passed four stages of development: (1) from 1990 to 1995 strategic planning was seen as heritage of soviet system. Nevertheless, some pilot projects on strategių planning principles and procedures were implemented in some municipalities; (2) in the period from 1995 to 2001/02 afteran official announcement of the intention to integrate into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, planning principles began to be introduced to state administracion and state budget planning. Some municipalities started to prepare strategic development plans with the purpose to implement them in „real life“. Klaipėda city municipality was the first municipality to adopt a strategic deveopment plan; (3) from 2001/2002 to 2003 after development and adoption of general strategic planning methodology on the national level, methodology for development of regional development plans was approved and regional development plans for all regions (counties) were prepared. Although this methodology was only a recommendation for municipalities, development of municipal strategic development plans was also initiated. Alytus and Vilnius city municipalities have started preparing three-year strategic action plans and developing and implementing programmes-based budgets of municipalities; Since 2004 till now – state budget is being prepared on programming principle and strategic planning (strategic development plans and strategic action plans) is integrated part of municipal development process. (4) Future of this process is foreseen as development and implementation of strategic management systems (with programmes-based budgets) in all the municipalities of Lithuania as well as its future improvement.

Keywords


strategic planing; strategic management

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603