What is a framework?

A framework is a set of processes or activities widely accepted enough to serve as guiding principles. They act like maps guiding you which direction to go.

It is not intended to impose a rigid set of rules and constraints. Rather, it is a guide to start an initiative and inspire new ways of thinking.

Oregon Model of community-based visioning

The state of Oregon in the United States of America was one of the first states to pioneer the use of community-based visioning. Oregon is recognized for innovative local planning and growth management policies including visioning as an overlay for local plans and a tool to help communities better manage complex change.

The Oregon Model represents a comprehensive approach to visioning framed by five simple questions.

1. Where are we now?

Activities: research, data/info collection, interviews, surveys and focus groups, community assessment, informing process design

Results: community profile, values statement, vision focus areas

2. Where are we going?

Activities: environmental scanning, trends research, strategic issues identification, scenario development, survey

Results: trends analysis, probable scenario

3. Where do we want to be?

Activities: brainstorming, scenario development, envisioning, word crafting, graphical visualisation, survey

Results: possible/preferred scenarios, vision statement

4. How do we get there?

Activities: development of strategies, actions & action agendas (timelines, priorities, etc.)

Results: strategic action plan

5. Are we getting there?

Activities: development of implementation strategies, action plan monitoring, benchmarks & indicators

Results: implementation strategy, benchmarking/indicators system


The New Oregon Model: Envision-> Plan -> Achieve. Steven Ames. Journal of Future Studies. 2010.

Presentation of the Oregon Model by Steven Ames, Community Visioning 2001to 2021 Conference, New Zealand 2011.

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