Go to recipes A-Z

Unfortunately, there is no standard out of the box community planning blueprint. As each area is uniquely shaped by its people, culture and surroundings, the approach will be different for every community or neighbourhood.

VP groups can pick and choose recipes that would work best for their communities.

This cookbook which is constantly being updated, lists various recipes from A-Z on how to undertake community planning

How do you get started with community planning?

Back to recipes A-Z

Key elements of community-led planning

1. Strong leadership

Planning should be led by a group from the community that has credibility with the different sections of the community. The group must balance the interest of all stakeholders.

2. Community engagement

The community or locality should be involved in every step of the planning process. Isolated groups should be given a voice.

3. Strong evidence base

An effective plan is based on the views of the people which are grounded in evidence of real issues and aspirations.

4. Vision

A clear vision for the future will inform the way ahead. It should be grounded and must relate to opportunities and the the local context.

5. Action plans

the vision should be translated into a an action plan with clear objectives and priorities.

Community asset mapping

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is a method of community organisation that helps communities become stronger and more self reliant by highlighting their collective skills and talents (or assets) rather than focusing on deficits.

In ABCD, the community assets (i.e., services, etc.) are identified to provide a reference on what the community can actually offer, its potential, and the interconnections among these assets.


ABCD can be facilitated in a variety of methods. Below are some of the more common ways on how to conduct ABCD.

1. Collect Stories

Engage the community in informal discussions to gather stories of successful activities. This will help identify the peoples skills, talents and assets that they may not be aware of. This exercise will help them appreciate their achievements and build their confidence.

2. Organise a Core Group

As you collect stories from the community, some people will emerge as leaders or movers--people who have shown leadership qualities or are currently acting as leaders. Try to mobilize these group of committed individuals as they already have existing networks in the community.

3. Map the capacities and assets of Individuals, Associations and Local Institutions

Identify associations - One way of doing this is by asking the core group which associations or informal groups they belong to. After this, ask the group to expand the list and add other associations they know about. Once the list is completed, cluster or group the associations by type and those associations most likely to participate in helping the community realize its potential.

Identify individual gifts, skills and capacities - The easiest way to identify skills and talents of individuals is by simply getting to know your neighbors. As relationships form, talent and skills will be more evident. Another way of identifying skills and talents is by asking participants to fill out a questionnaire inquiring about what theyre good at or what their interests are. Once this is done, you can complete an individual skills inventory.

Identify the assets of local institutions - These could be services or programmes, equipment or existing communication links of institutions such as government agencies, local trusts. schools and private sector businesses.

Flaxroots is a priority initiative of the North Shore Community and Social Services funded under the Community Development Scheme of the Department of Internal Affairs