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.

Briefing session

A briefing is a simple, easy-to-organise activity that seeks to establish a project agenda or inform participants about an idea. Briefing sessions can introduce the project to the community, get people interested, identify useful skills and establish key concerns (if any) of the community. These sessions are particularly useful at the beginning of the project or during action planning.


Community group and sector representatives (youth, elderly, disabled, etc), concerned individuals, local government, and local business groups within the neighborhood are invited to attend a 2 hour session.

Facilitators give a background presentation of what community planning is. Facilitators also explain the agenda of the session.

An individual brainstorming is conducted. A participant is given sticky notes or cards and will be asked to write down his/her response on three questions namely:

- What do you think is lacking in our community?

- What is your dream for your neighborhood?

- How can your dream be realised?

Participants divide into three groups representing the three questions. Groups discuss the responses and make summary of findings.

Each sub-group presents summary to the whole group and answers questions posted by the whole group.

Facilitators synthesize and explain how community planning can help address community issues and fulfill community aspirations.

The facilitator explains the next step of forming a core group to jumpstart community planning and enjoins everyone to become members.

Facilitators inform the participants of schedule of events and activities and how they can participate. He/she makes sure to collect contact info of all participants and ask them if they want to receive more info about community planning.



attendance sheet

presentation materials on community planning

markers, pens

cards or post-it

flip charts, whiteboard or paper on wall

tape or blue tack

camera for photo ops

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