Phase 3

Step 3.02 , Annual Operating Plan


Operational Plans are developed as guides for those responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a Water Fund. These plans further serve as important mechanisms for communicating responsibility for the implementing of interventions specified in the Water Fund Strategic Plan. In the most general sense, Annual Operating Plans are developed to assist current and future members of a Water Fund in ensuring that the short and medium-term operation of the Water Fund is effective and ultimately accountable to the objectives it sets out.

Key Ideas

Learn more about Annual Operating Plans below:

  • What is an Annual Operating Plan?

    An Operating Plan is a document and series of work plans that are derived from the Water Fund Strategic Plan in order to provide annual or multi-annual guidance that ensures effective operation of a Water Fund. This plan should summarize key results to date, the overall approach, and key ideas for operating the Water Fund. For instance, among other items, an Operational Plan should specify the following: ● Objectives. ● Prioritization of actions/projects. ● Monitoring plans. ● Reporting structures (e.g. technical, financial, etc.). ● Budget Operational Plans may be limited by activities, time, or budget based on the requirements for achieving the outcomes established in the Conservation Plan.
  • What should the initial Annual Operating Plan include?

    The first Operating Plan should include the first year budget and provide a detailed work plan of how the proposed interventions will be implemented. The plan should be approved by the Water Fund Board.

What are the key questions that should be answered when developing an Operational Plan?

The process for developing an Operational Plan should involve regular consultation with the technical team and partners. This process should also involve steps that ensure all involved parties are well-versed in the results of the Conservation Plan. At a minimum, Operational Plans will seek to address the following questions:

  • What activities will be implemented under the water fund each year? 
  • Who will be responsible for each task?
  • What is the short-term budget for launch, implementation, and so on?
  • What resources and expertise do we need to complete the annual activities?

The Water Fund Strategic Plan for a Water Fund should be developed prior to this step and should serve as the most important tool for developing an Operational Plan.


The tools and examples provided below may also help to scope and guide Operational Plans.

Latin America: