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 profiling

Community profiling is a process of building up a picture of a community including resources, assets, environment and needs. This tool involves community participation and is a good start in community planning to establish a common ground which is widely agreed. A community profile provides basic information and data on the assets and needs of the community.


Different tools and processes can be undertaken to develop an understanding of the community including SWOT analysis, problem tree, ishikawa diagram, asset mapping, demographic anaysis

Small working groups are created to work on specific topics, collect available data and present to other working groups and the public.

Results are collated and summarised into a community profile report (words, pictures, diagrams) which will be available to the public to comment on.

A finalised version is created incorporating the public comments and inputs.


statistics and data from research groups, community organisations, local government, national government, schools, police, etc.

volunteers to put together and analyse information

report writing and publication

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