Change Science Program Strategic Plan [CCSP] 2002, USGCRP Strategic Plan 2012) along with a National Research Council review of the CCSP’s 2002 strategic plan (NRC, 2004). Strategic plans have become a requirement of the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 and the Office of Management and Budget provides guidance for preparing and submitting an agency strategic plan (OMB Circular No A-11 2011). Based on these documents, the committee found that the following elements are generally included in a federal strategic research plan: a vision or mission statement, goals and objectives, research priorities or criteria for setting priorities, metrics for evaluation of progress and success, and a strategy for implementation of the goals and objectives of the plan. In the context of this last element, the committee is cognizant of the importance of distinguishing a strategic plan from an implementation plan, but also recognizes that there is overlap in content between a strategic and an implementation plan. Thus, several of the committee’s analyses center on the issue of how the Strategic Plan can lay out a process to ensure that the different objectives can most effectively be implemented.

As follows, the committee discusses the IWGOA’s Strategic Plan vis-à-vis the five elements of a strategic plan. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the National Ocean Acidification Program and the National Ocean Acidification Program Office, the latter of which is a critical conduit to the implementation of the Strategic Plan.


The committee found no clear ‘vision’ or ‘mission’ statement in the Strategic Plan. OMB Circular A-11 (see Section 210, page 2) specifies the structure of a strategic plan and is concerned with how a strategic plan reflects the ‘vision’ or ‘mission statement’ of an individual agency. The committee acknowledges the difficulty in framing a single mission statement that reflects the diversity of agencies involved, each representing a different mission. However, the committee believes that a concise vision or mission statement of the type found in the USGCRP Strategic Plan2 (2012; page 11) would assist, in particular, the nonspecialist reader in appreciating the thrust and importance of the Strategic Plan.

RECOMMENDATION: The Strategic Plan should include a vision statement for the National Ocean Acidification Program.


tion. This program and its origin are similar to the National Ocean Acidification Program; and thus, serves as a good example for how a strategic plan and associated metrics can be developed.

2Vision: A Nation, globally engaged and guided by science, meeting the challenges of climate and global change.” (USGCRP Strategic Plan, 2012)

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement