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 survey

A community survey or community participatory appraisal is an effective tool for community participation and fact-finding. Surveys bring decision-oriented statistics into the policy and planning process. It provides an excellent way of getting specific and up to date information form a cross-section of residents. A community survey to be used in planning can:

Gather information on attitudes, opinions and perceptions

measure population characteristics

solicit community reactions to projects, solutions and proposals

get a clear understanding of the communities prioritiesmake residents aware of community problems

provide an opportunity for communities to influence public policy


1. Background and purpose of the survey why is a survey being conducted and who are conducting it

2. Establish survey team

3. Design the survey questionnaire. The survey should inform about the residents perception on the area as

a place to live, what they like, what they dislike and what imporvements tjhey think would enhance their

community as a place to live. See the Campbells Bay VP group survey template.

4. Deploy the survey through letter boxing, door-to-door or use an electronic online survey tool (ie


5. Collect data

6. Collate and analyse data

7. Draft survey finding and summary

8. Circulate results

9. Feedback

Sample Survey findings outline

1. Purpose of survey

2. Scope of survey

a. About the participatory process

b. Survey respondentsc.limitations

3. Acknowledgements

4. Maps and figures

5. Survey results

a. Summary

b. Demographics Gender, Age, Ethnicity, cross sections

c. Socio-economic profile infrastructure, amenities and facilities, environment, health and safety,

education, community, etc

d. Satisfaction ratings ie as a place to live, what they liked/disliked about the place

e. Issues identified described by categories, topic, theme or socio-economic profile

f. Suggestions identified - described categories, by topic, theme or socio-economic profile

g. Main themes emerging

Communicating the survey results

1. Print surveys and disseminate

2. Establish prioritisation process

3. Feedback results through community event

4. Prioritise projects and initiatives

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