Strategic Planning Process

The Board of Directors of the Sumpul Association worked with representatives from Western University (Canada), CRIPDES (El Salvador), and SalvAide (Canada) to lead a consultation process that was accomplished in four phases.

Phase 1

Participatory Consultation Workshops with the Sumpul Association and Mental Health Needs Assessment

After initial discussions with members of the Committee of Survivors of the Sumpul River Massacre (the organization that preceded the Sumpul Association), a team of facilitators from the Committee, Western University, CRIPDES, and SalvAide conducted a full day of consultation workshops with 50 massacre survivors and regional community leaders in July 2017. After an introductory session, the participants were split into three groups that rotated through three discussion topics: commemoration, education, and justice. Each discussion lasted approximately one hour.

Through shared stories and testimonies, the goal was to better understand the survivor community’s priorities in each of these key areas:

•           to assess the Association’s work and highlight what it does well and how to improve its service to the community

•           to understand how the Association can deepen and expand the overall impact of its work as an advocate – both regionally and nationally – for commemoration, education, and justice

•           to understand how the experiences of massacre survivors guides the work of the Association

•           to hear the ideas and dreams that members have for the future work of the Association

The Sumpul Association developed a summary of the workshop results published in a report (in both Spanish and English) entitled “Commemoration, Justice, and Education: A Summary of Workshop Discussion, July 16, 2017.” This report has been a guiding document throughout the preparation of the Strategic Plan.

In late July 2017, a delegation from Western University returned to the community to conduct a mental health needs assessment. The assessment explored how historical memory workshops and survivor testimonies can function as a leverage for mental health and collective healing in low-resource communities impacted by the war. 

Phase 2

Constituent Assembly of the Sumpul Association

In August 2017, the survivor community of all the massacres across Chalatenango gathered in San José Las Flores for a general assembly in which the Association of Survivors of the Sumpul Massacre and Other Chalatenango Massacres was formally established (replacing the Committee of Survivors of the Sumpul River Massacre). After a discussion about the goals of the Sumpul Association, the assembly adopted its bylaws, and elected the seven members of the Board of Directors. In addition to representatives from Western University, CRIPDES, SalvAide, CCR and the Human Rights Association Dra. María Julia Hernández, the group was joined by two Belgian-Salvadoran architects, Harold Fallon and Evelia Macal, who have committed themselves to working collaboratively with the community in the architectural design of the Sumpul River Massacre Memorial Park.

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Phase 3

Developing the Strategic Priorities

In November 2017, the strategic planning team from the Sumpul Association, and representatives of Western University, CRIPDES, and SalvAide engaged in one full day of strategic planning workshops with the Sumpul Association’s Board of Directors.

Workshops topics included the history and philosophy of the organization, outlining key actors, project priorities, and lines of work. The following day, the team held a full day of consultation discussions with various members of the massacre survivor community in which they explored the role and value of the Sumpul Association, strategic priorities, and short, medium and long term lines of work for the Sumpul Association. The team consolidated the results of these consultations and engaged in follow-up discussions with the Board of Directors in February 2018.

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Phase 4

Implementing Our Strategies

The final step of the strategic planning process is designed to implement the plan and ensure that the Sumpul Association meets its strategic priorities. To this end, a management plan was developed and finalized in February 2018, which clearly articulates the tactics, responsibilities, and timelines to meet the desired goal for each of the Sumpul Association’s strategic priorities.