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.


Prioritising is an important aspect of the planning process where programmes, projects and action plans are put in order or ranked and given a time frame. Prioritising is usually done after getting information from the community (through surveys, meetings, forums, etc).

Case in point:

A survey feedback day seeks to report back the community survey results. It also aims to obtain information from the residents to prioritise projects and initiatives identified in the survey.


See sample flowchart.



Publication of survey results (usually in large paper formats for everyone to read)

Sticky notes or coloured dots

Food, games and musicHall or open space (with tables, chairs and stage)

Sound equipment

Publication of prioritised plans and actions

Other methods:

Wheel of fortune - Priorities are drawn up and labelled in slices of a wheel. Participants collectively rank up to 20 competing priorities using sticky notes. The slices with most pinned sticky notes would be the number one priority.

Fence prioritising method - a method for a group to arrive at a majority view on issues with conflicting options. Issues are listed in a large paper with a fence in the middle dividing 2 different options in dealing with a problem. Participants place coloured dots on the option they feel strongly about. The strongest concentration of dots is taken as the collective view.

Street stall - are interactive displays of community issues and proposed solutions and usually held outdoors in areas where people converge. Residents are encouraged to participate by placing coloured dots on the issues they see most pressing and activities or projects they want to see implemented.

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