Use of scenario planning in public health : a tool for anticipating alternative futures for strategic planning [research project]
Master of Public Health
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The environment of public health is unpredictable and constantly changing (Venable, Li, Ginter , & Duncan, 1993). As such, the use of strategic management techniques, notably those that deal with the analysis of the forces in the external environment, are of growing interest in the field of public health management (Venable_et al., 1993). Scenario planning is one such strategic pla ing technique. It is in large part an adaptation and generalization of classic methods used by military intelligence. It has been adopted and widely used in business applications, most notably in the energy industry. It works especially well under conditions of high uncertainty and risk conditions that characterize-most public health issues facing our world today (Neiner, Howze, Greaney, 2004). As such, scenario planning appears to be a particularly well suited technique for use in public health (Venable et al., 1993). This paper will explore the history and development of scenario planning. It will outline how it has been successfully used in the private sector and examine how it has and can be successfully used in the field of public health. Further, it will outline scenario planning methodology and discuss the benefits of its use in public health.