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photo of pencils on a notepadThere are many factors to consider when you get to this stage in the planning process:

  • Meeting needs of your target audience.
  • Staying focused on behavior change.
  • Program logistics.
  • Evaluation considerations.
  • Preferences of partners and stakeholders.
  • Requirements of your funding agency.
  • Political concerns.

The formative research phase may seem like the most difficult part of the planning process but experienced planners say that the strategy development phase can sometimes be more difficult. Well-planned formative research makes this process easier, but there are still many hard decisions to make. Be prepared to feel a little overwhelmed at this point, but this is normal. Make an effort to work through this phase.