Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard


In January 2017, Jifundishe, a small, local nonprofit organization based in Ngongongare, Tanzania undertook its first strategic planning process. I was asked to design and lead this initiative for the organization, finding a way to introduce tools and resources so that they, or a similar organization, could replicate the process in the future. To better reflect the values, culture, and constraints of Jifundishe, the methodology selected to drive the process was Appreciative Inquiry (AI). AI is a change model focused on strengths, and an appreciative strategic plan looks to take the best of what you already have and work to develop that further. This Independent Practitioner Inquiry Capstone (IPIC) seeks to identify how AI was used in the strategic planning process, examining what tools and approaches were chosen and how they were implemented. And then to present how those who participated in the process experienced it. Through a series of portraits, it became evident that using appreciative inquiry as an approach to the strategic planning process allows for the participants to participate in an inclusive, positive way and to dream big. This study highlights the importance of using a tailored approach to strategic planning grounded in AI methodology.


African Studies | Community-Based Research | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Organization Development | Strategic Management Policy


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