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 event

A community event allows the community to meet and draft action plans for their neighbourhood. It also brings stakeholders together including the local government. While most useful during the visioning and action planning stages, this tool can be used at any stage of the planning process.


There are different approaches in conducting a community planning event. Often, the event is assisted by an external facilitator and organised by active local community groups.

Facilitators can be effective in developing priority action plans, summarising agreements and assisting in debate and discussions.

Good practices suggest that effective community planning events last for a day or two.

Follow-up small meetings should also be held to monitor tasks and deliverables.

Sample community planning agenda:

Introduction - icebreakers, keynote, video showing, presentations

Identifying problems and issues - workshops, forums, small groups, plenaries, debate

Solutions - workshops, plenaries, presentations, working groups

Analysis - presentations and question and answers

Report writing - drafting of priorities and agreements, photos

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