CCP Handbook - Comprehensive Community Planning for First Nations in British Columbia Third Edition

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Completing Major Projects

With the development came the funds to complete many of the projects. The first big project was the construction of a new longhouse. The original longhouse, built in 1982, was lost in a fire during the early 1990s. The community had identified cultural revitalization as a priority so they set to work on the construction of a longhouse which was completed in 2011. They also implemented a language program after successfully applying for a grant from First People's Heritage, Language and Cultural Council.

Another major goal was the construction of new community facilities such as a band office, gym, school and fitness center. The original goal of council was to build it near Eagle Landing, but the community revealed a different desire through the community planning process. They wanted the band office in the heart of the community in a single building. Tammy remarks that, "Putting everything in one building has helped to build a sense of community."

Making Community Health a Priority

Despite all the development, the number one priority was the health of the community. Tammy believes that a healthy community is key to successful planning, "If you don't have a healthy community it doesn't matter what you do." With the construction of the new community facilities, there was room to expand, so they trained and hired a health nurse, and contracted out counseling services to a local company which was selected through a request for proposals process. Now the members have access to first-rate counseling services, which has made a noticeable difference in the health of the community.

Community planner speaking at workshop

Tackling Other Goals

They also set to work on accessing other funding sources and used the community plan to back up their proposals. Through a grant from the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program, they were able to refit three Elders homes with hand and stair rails, stair lifts and new showers. In addition, there was also the need to address education and training. This was accomplished in a variety of ways. First, through a partnership with surrounding First Nations, they were able to offer a course on traditional medicines free of charge to band members. Second, with some of their taxation revenue, they were able to help several members get their drivers' licenses, removing a significant barrier to employment. They also included training requirements in their contract with the developer of Eagle Landing, providing members with on the job training in construction.

Looking back, Chief David Jimmie is proud of all that his community has accomplished and credits community planning as being a significant factor in his community's success. Despite all they have accomplished, he is excited about the future and is looking forward to re-engaging the membership for a second round of community planning. When Squiala started their first round of planning the reserve lands were vacant and Tammy Bartz was their only employee. They now have 15 employees, several new facilities and several members in post-secondary education. They are headed towards a bright and prosperous future.

Tammy is very practical in addressing implementation. She says you need to identify the need, project or goal; obtain baseline information regarding the current state of affairs; find funds to meet the need and then do the work. But most importantly, every project needs a champion. Members are key to successful CCP implementation.

Squiala First Nation office and community centre

Implementation Making It Happen



  • It is now time to begin implementing the plan – moving the process from ideas into action. Implementation simply means putting the plan to work by taking priorities (projects, policies or programs) and transforming them into results on the ground.
  • Administration, including managers and staff, will likely be involved in coordinating the implementation of the comprehensive community plan. Chief and Council, with support from the membership, may oversee the implementation but can often delegate the day-to-day tasks to a staff member or project champion.
  • Engaging project champions is one of the most successful ways to get a project started and see it through to fruition. A champion can be a councillor, community or staff member, or anyone who has a passion for a project and the skills (or is prepared to acquire them) to make sure it succeeds.
  • Foster continued community ownership of the plan. The planning champion, community planning team, community members, staff and council have likely put in hundreds of hours of planning work and participated in many meetings. Your greatest assets are your community members; ensure that they stay engaged throughout implementation of the plan through good communications, advisory committees and focus groups.
  • There will be an expectation that things will begin to change for the better – that there will be immediate benefits for the community or that positive projects will start right away. It is very important to manage expectations in the early stages to prevent disillusionment or disappointment. One way is to immediately identify some quick-start projects which you can implement while you are developing longer term projects.

 "Implementation starts on the day you start planning."

Gwen Phillips, Ktunaxa Nation

Man and photovoltaic system

Implementation: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Prioritize Actions (Policies, Programs and Projects)
  • Identify what to do first. There are many tools and approaches that can be used to analyze options, and to help you build consensus and make collective decisions about priorities.
  • What you start with might also be a question of what is realistic and pragmatic. Determine what resources you have, or can easily acquire, to get started right away.
  • Typical criteria for choosing priorities might be: impact, urgency, capacity, cost, risk and/or political support from community and Chief and Council.
Step 2: Identify Project Management Team
  • Identifying and recruiting the project management team helps to build widespread support for the project and facilitates the early involvement of community members and staff.  It can also enable Chief and Council and administration to delegate some responsibilities for the projects.
  • Ensure there is sufficient capacity in the team to implement the project. In addition to the champion and staff, it may be necessary to include consultants and/or grant writers. If the necessary capacity does not exist within the community, you may need to consider getting training or external support – this can often be funded through grants or loans.
Step 3: Obtain Necessary Approvals and Establish Good Communications and Reporting Plans
  • Start by getting a good understanding of the scope of the project.  Answer some basic questions. What is the project? Why is it a priority? Who is going to implement it? Who in the community is going to benefit from it? Where is the project going to be? What is the timeline? How much is it going to cost? What resources do you need? The more detailed the answers, the more likely you are to get the approvals needed to get started.
  • The value of doing this early work is that it provides the foundation for reports to community, administration and council. It also clarifies resources required, identifies gaps and can form the basis of funding proposals.
  • There is a responsibility and opportunity to continue communicating to the membership about the plan and progress on implementation. Have a public space where project progress can be displayed. Create a plan that demonstrates what role members can play in the project.

Quick-Start Projects

Quick-start projects are small, simple projects that can be implemented right away with few or no resources. Quick-start projects create enthusiasm and momentum, and demonstrate to the entire community that the CCP implementation process has started and that their contributions have resulted in change.  This reinforces the idea that it is worthwhile staying involved!

The following criteria can be used to identify quick-start projects:

  1. The project is simple and easy to complete.
  2. The project requires few to no financial resources or can be completed with resources that your community has on hand within its budget.
  3.    There is a project champion or a group of community volunteers available and willing to organize and implement the project.
  4.    There is widespread community support for the project.
  5.    The project does not require staffing additions or can be supported by existing staff without compromising existing programs and services.
  6.    The project can be completed within a few months.
Step 4: Identify Potential Partners to Support the Project
  • Working with partners on projects is a great way to share costs, leverage further funding, build capacity, strengthen results, and balance the work load while sharing the benefits.
  • Internal Partnerships: Identify other departments that might help with the project and consider pooling resources (e.g., health and recreation projects might be supported by the youth centre as well as Elders groups).
  • External Partnerships: Consider other First Nations within adjacent territories that might be interested in collaborating on projects (e.g., skill development for regional opportunities). Governments, academic institutions, and/or non-profit organizations can also have support roles.
Step 5: Identify Funding and Other Resources
  • Many projects require additional funding beyond what is already in your First Nation's budget. The resources section at the back of this handbook identifies many potential sources of funding to support your project.
  • At this stage, it is good to do an analysis of all the resources you have or might need to complete the project — not just the financial resources, but also capacity and skills.
  • Don't worry if the full amount of your project is not approved in your first funding application. Learn to leverage by using money already raised to back up further applications. Once you have some initial funding, other agencies may be more likely jump on board as their financial risk is now reduced.

Think outside the Box: Not all Projects need funding

One First Nation, faced with helping their children get to school safely across a busy highway, was having great difficulty raising funds for a new pedestrian bridge. Since funds were not forthcoming, they decided to take a completely different approach and negotiated a pedestrian stop sign with Ministry of Highways, who provided it free of charge.

"Implementation is about empowering community members."

Andrew Moore, T'Sou-ke Nation

Three people looking at a map

Step 6: Create Work Plans, Budgets, Feasibility Studies and Business Plans
  • You will likely be asking your community, Chief and Council, partners, funders and banks to get involved and take a risk on your project. Therefore, you will need to demonstrate at an early stage that your project is a safe investment for their time and money. This can be done through:
    • feasibility studies demonstrating that the project is going to work;
    • business plans demonstrating the project's financial viability;
    • work plans giving concrete details and time frames for activities right up to completion; and/or
    • budgets showing both project capital and operational costs.
Step 7: Project Management
  • Once you have all the above steps completed (i.e. you have funding, approved studies, community go ahead and a project management team in place), you are probably ready to start. Large capital projects and multi-year programs will often need specialist project managers and consultants, as professional day-to-day management and monitoring of the project becomes crucial at this stage. Regular progress meetings with the project management team, consultants and partners are important.
  • Special attention needs to be focused on:
    • Cost control: Keep the project on budget and ensure that there is sufficient cash flow to pay bills promptly.
    • Time table: Make sure everyone keeps to the time frames that they have agreed to.
    • Project amendments: Try to look out for challenges (e.g., bad weather), delays (e.g., supply shortage) and unexpected costs (e.g., unusual soil conditions).
    • Quality Control: Constantly monitor the quality of the work. Don't assume consultants and contractors are producing quality work – check their work too.
    • Reporting: Create up-to-date progress reports for the band (internal) and for partners and funders (external).
  • Be sure you consult with administration, Chief and Council, and where needed, funders, before approving any large changes to the costs, timeline or nature or quality of work.

Implementation Often Requires More Planning

During the implementation phase, more planning may be required.  For example:

  • If housing has been identified as a priority, the next step may be to develop a long-term housing strategy and plan
  • It might be necessary to invest in an in-depth land-use plan or an updated physical development plan, before moving implementing of larger-scale projects.
  • If strengthening traditional languages is important, you may wish to develop a detailed approach to engage children, youth, adults and Elders.
  • Meeting economic development objectives may mean more planning to identify and evaluate opportunities, completing a skills inventory or conducting an environmental scan/situational analysis.

All of these plans should reflect the community vision and support the high-level goals and objectives within the CCP. All of this work and planning will lead to implementation success!

Step 8: Learn Lessons, Develop Best Practices and Celebrate!

As the activities and projects are implemented, it is important to regularly report back to the community and leadership on progress and how the projects are benefitting the community, including:

  • Lessons Learned: Learn from mistakes and successes. What worked, what did not and why?
  • Best Practices: Feed back into the planning cycle. How you could improve the implementation process next time?
  • Celebrate – often! Do not forget to celebrate your successes. Invite the whole community to join you – after all, they were there at the beginning of the planning cycle and deserve to see the results of everyone's hard work. Celebrations are ways to acknowledge efforts and success, and to encourage the community to move on to more ambitious projects.
Step 9: Maximize Community Training, Mentorship, Capacity Building
and Employment

Many First Nations see every new project as an opportunity to build capacity, provide training and mentorship, and bring resources into the community, including employment.

  • Schools, colleges and universities are often keen to partner with First Nations and support individual members to achieve training and certification in the fields that would support their communities to reach their goals.
  • If external consultants or contractors are necessary, encourage them to include training, capacity building and employment opportunities for your community members in their work.
  • When negotiating partnerships with companies, First Nations can request training, employment and contract opportunities.

"Each community member has a responsibility to breathe life into this plan."

Vickie Thomas, ?aqam

Risk Management

Try to anticipate challenges that might occur at any stage of your project:

  • What happens if costs escalate? What is your fall-back position? What is Plan B? If necessary, can you reduce the size of the project without having to abandon it?
  • What happens if Chief and Council and/or administration changes during the project?
  • Consider other external factors that could affect the project (e.g., will winter weather affect the timing of a construction project?).

Ensuring full community participation when prioritizing projects will help prevent parts of the community from withdrawing support from the project at later crucial stages.

Key Lessons Learned

  • Don't wait until the plan is finished to begin implementation. Address the implementation of the plan early and often at each stage of the planning process. Small projects, or quick-start projects, are a great way to create excitement and momentum, and to get the plan into action early in the planning process.
  • Find creative ways to communicate the finished comprehensive community plan. Your finished plan may be a fairly large document, which may discourage people from reading the entire document. Creating an executive summary, preparing PowerPoint presentations, posters or informational videos will aid in communicating the plan in a format that is engaging and informative to different audiences.
  • Prioritize projects and actions. Prioritizing the projects, programs and policies, using decision criteria such as feasibility, capacity, cost, risk and timing, is absolutely crucial to ensure successful implementation.
  • Change the governance structure to support implementation. Many communities have found that once the vision and priorities have been identified, there is a need to change the responsibilities and governance structure to facilitate implementation. What if building language skills is identified as a priority, but there is no staff or committee within the administrative structure responsible for such initiatives?
  • Transform five-10 year goals and objectives into annual work plans. The work of implementing the plan will be the responsibility of the band administrator and department managers. Break the longer term activities into smaller, more manageable pieces and include them in annual work plans for specific managers to lead and report on each year.
  • Implementation requires more planning. For example, if housing has been identified as a priority, the next step may be to develop a long-term housing strategy and plan. Or it might make sense to invest in an in-depth land use plan or an updated physical development plan to support the higher level goals and objectives within the CCP.
  • Communicate and celebrate! It is easy to get so busy implementing, that we forget to communicate and celebrate with community members our many successes and accomplishments!

Push for Motivation
Adams Lake Indian Band

Logo for Adams Lake Indian Band comprehensive community planning

Adams Lake Indian Band has succeeded in capturing the imagination of community members, as evidenced by its CCP logo, which was selected through a community-wide competition. The logo incorporates four colours representing Pride, Unity, Strength, and Healing (PUSH) and depicts a simple medicine wheel with flames in the four colours exploding out of it in the four directions. PUSH appears on their Comprehensive Community Strategic Plan jackets, T-shirts and stationery. The logo and acronym serve as a constant reminder of what keeps the plan alive – the determination of an entire community to create positive change while protecting cultural values.

Continuing to Build on CCP
Simpcw First Nation

Simpcw First Nation started its planning activities in 1989 and hasn't stopped since. From 2006 to 2010, Simpcw Chief and Council, administration, Elders, youth, school officials and community members worked to develop a comprehensive community plan. A household summary of the plan was published and distributed throughout the community. But they didn't stop there. Simpcw continues to hold annual facilitated community planning sessions and community members are invited to review accomplishments, and to talk about needs and strategies for future community development.

Implementation: Tools

The tools section of this Handbook contains practical tools and worksheets that can help during the implementation stage:

Tool 14:  Creating a Budget
A tool for identifying and quantifying needed resources for projects and activities

Tool 15:  Budget Management Checklist
A tool for tracking and reporting how funds were spent

Tool 16:  Project Implementation Inventory
A tool for describing the objectives and scope of a project

Tool 17:  Project Timeline (Bar Chart)
A sample of a project implementation timeline

Tool 18:  Project Work Plan
A tool for further describing the objectives and scope of a project

Tool 19:  Decision Analysis Tool
A tool for prioritizing projects, policies and programs

Expanding the Scope of a CCP
T'sou-Ke Nation

Nestled at the southern tip of Vancouver Island is a small but ambitious First Nation community that dares to dream big. The T'Sou-ke Nation began the comprehensive community planning process with a desire to unite the whole community behind a vision that could carry them towards self-sufficiency.

Two men with photovoltaic system

Engaging The Community

Under the guidance of the Chief and Council and planning facilitator Andrew Moore, the community embarked on a three-year planning journey. Andrew, an architect by training, understands that when you construct a tall building you need a deep foundation. He approached planning with the same philosophy. "You need to go deep into the community to lay the foundation for ambitious projects." It is very important to achieve a collective vision and extensive community buy-in as early as possible.

T'Sou-ke Nation understood that planning was a process and that the plan would continue to expand. To reflect this reality, they called their community plan VIP: Vision in Progress for Very Important People. The planning team met every three weeks in the band hall and regularly gave presentations to the whole membership at general meetings. T'Sou-ke Nation has a policy to ensure everyone is included: "If members don't come to us, we shall go to them."

Developing a Collective Vision

As they met with the youth, Elders, families, leadership and staff, a recurring theme of sustainability began to emerge. The theme respected First Nations traditional values of honouring Mother Earth, all living creatures and the elements: the sun, the wind and the sea. By adopting these values, the community felt it could work towards creating a more sustainable life for generations to come.

To incorporate the overall objective of sustainability, the T'Sou-ke Nation expanded their planning horizon from 20 years to include the next seven generations, or 100 plus years. They began asking themselves what kind of community they wanted to create and leave behind for the seventh generation. This led to the development of four broad objectives around which their plan was based. They called these the Four Pillars of Sustainability: Energy Autonomy, Food Self-Sufficiency, Cultural Revival, and Sustainable Economic Development.

Developing Funding Partnerships

To meet their desire for energy autonomy, the T'Sou-ke Nation successfully obtained funding from the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines' Innovative Clean Energy Fund. Using their comprehensive community plan to support their application, T'Sou-ke applied for funds to install solar hot water heating systems on homes and they proposed building one of the largest photovoltaic (creating electricity from the sun) systems in British Columbia. This initiative quickly spiraled to include a series of related projects that met other objectives in their community plan.

Man holding sign which says we recycle

Building Capacity and Creating Employment Opportunities

The T'Sou-ke Nation ensured that the company hired to install the photovoltaic and solar hot water heating systems would also train band members to do the work. As a result, employment and training objectives were met and several band members now have full-time employment installing solar-powered electric systems.

Since completing the project, the T'Sou-ke Nation is now the most solar intensive community in Canada and they will be selling power back to the electric grid for the next 70 years. Their next goal is to help other First Nations develop renewable energy technology for use on remote reserves which currently use diesel generators. This project also inspired their youth to start the T'Sou-ke Smart Energy Group which encourages community members, local schools and First Nations to conserve energy through local youth-run initiatives.

Engaging Champions From the Community

The community started a small garden to meet their objective of food self-sufficiency. Under the leadership of community member and champion Christine George, the garden expanded to a large green house which produces food for special events for the entire community. The Lady Bug Green House grows food which is used at a weekly community lunch and also hosts a 10-mile feast and a zero-mile dinner using only those foods found within the T'Sou-ke Nation traditional territory.

These feasts were used as opportunities to teach the youth about traditional foods and gathering practices. Christine has also partnered with other community gardening initiatives in the adjacent city of Sooke, making food self-sufficiency an objective for the entire region.

Building with photovoltaic system
First Nations dancers

Seizing Opportunities To Start More Ambitious Projects

The solar project led to a $12 million, 1,000 roof solar installation project in a neighbouring municipality, as well as the opportunity to build a $3 million four-acre commercial greenhouse. When completed, the greenhouse will provide 30 full-time jobs for band members and improve food security for the entire region.

Andrew notes, "If it wasn't for the smaller quick-start projects, the bigger projects would have never materialized. Opportunities build upon opportunities, success upon success."  Even in the early implementation stage, it is important to capitalize on opportunities and allow the planning process to expand. In practice, the planning process is not a clean step-by-step process. It is organic and sometimes challenging. When given the right attention, the process can grow to include larger and more ambitious projects and meet the needs of members for a healthy, sustainable community for generations to come.

Linda Bristol, a T'Sou-ke Elder who has been engaged in the CCP process at T'Sou-ke from the beginning, is now an active champion of the community's Arts and Culture program. She points out that many of the resources needed for successful planning and implementation reside amongst the band membership. "Many members are passionate about creating a better future for their community. Encourage your champions and assist them with resources, capacity building and training. If you have the right people and the right process, the right projects will follow."

Implementing Quick-Start Projects
Penticton Indian Band

Two women speaking about community planning

The Penticton Indian Band was anxious to get to work on their comprehensive community planning process. Members were tired of the status-quo, and Chief Jonathan Kruger saw comprehensive community planning as an opportunity. Creating a dream and vision for the future was exactly what the community needed. It was time for change.

The community began the comprehensive community planning process under the leadership of Elaine Alec and Anona Kampe. With the support of their Chief, these two tireless souls set to work organizing meetings, talking to members and attending every community event, even if it had nothing to do with CCP.

As the process unfolded, the membership began unveiling their desires, hopes, dreams and ideas to make the community a better place. The Elders wanted to hear and speak their traditional language, the community wanted to gather around hope, not tragedy, and everyone agreed that it was time to name roads and install street signs.

As meetings continued, it became evident that there were several projects that, with the help of volunteers, could be implemented with a minimal time commitment, very little planning and few resources. These quick-start projects were acted on immediately and gave the CCP momentum and credibility.

Lonesome for the Language

The revitalization of culture and language was a priority for the community. The Elders wanted to hear the language again and they wanted young people to learn it. One recommendation, made at a planning meeting, was to use the traditional language to open all community meetings. The planning team took it upon themselves to ensure that this happened. No extra resources, planning or staff were needed. All it took was the initiative to change.

The 9-1-1 Project

At a planning gathering, one Elder mentioned that when her husband had a recent medical emergency, the ambulance could not find their house because there were no road signs. Members knew the reserve landmarks and homes, so road signs were never necessary. However, outsiders didn't share this knowledge. As a result, community members expressed a desire to name the roads and install street signs.

A detailed history of each area and road was gathered from the Elders. Roads were named after plants and animals and translated into the traditional language. Then, after the community found a small pot of funding, signs in the traditional language were installed. This project took only a year to complete and was done in conjunction with the community planning process.

Gathering for a Purpose

A recurring theme during the planning process was a desire by the community to come together for positive reasons. Too often, they were gathering in times of grief or during crises. This led to the organization of Gathering for a Purpose. Volunteers led the charge to organize a weekend event where members gathered to drum, sing, laugh, visit, pray, eat and learn. Elders taught and told stories, children played, stick games were held and songs were sung. All that was required was an idea and it was implemented entirely by volunteers.

Stop sign in traditional language

The Billboard Project

As the community planning process entered its third year, community members were voicing their concerns about the negative influence of drugs and alcohol on their reserve. So, they held a series of drug strategy meetings. After a thorough discussion, they decided that rather than focusing on the negatives, the members of the Penticton Indian Band would promote the positives.

The members decided to put up a series of billboards all over the community showcasing the positive teachings of their people. Implementing the project was simple. A committee selected photos from the archives and decided on slogans. The theme "Honouring our Elders'  Teachings" was used for the project. The billboards were paid for by the health department which had funds to promote healthy lifestyles. From start to finish, this project took only six months to complete and was spearheaded by community members. Now as members and visitors drive through the community, they are inspired by the teachings of the Elders. Anona is particularly fond of this project. "It brought the community together and our own members appear on the billboards for everyone to see."

Monitoring & Evaluation Are We Making Progress?

Monitoring & Evaluation


Monitoring and evaluating the CCP allows you to determine if the implementation of the policies, programs and projects from the CCP are having the desired effects. It is an ongoing process that helps you learn from your efforts and be responsive to change.

  • The monitoring and evaluation stage is necessary to:
    • make sure the projects are benefitting the community,
    • assess the progress in implementing the comprehensive community plan,
    • make revisions, as required, so that the plan remains relevant,
    • keep the plan alive and adjust it to external and internal changes, and
    • keep the community excited and informed about the results achieved through CCP.
  • Members of the community should be involved: in evaluating the progress and outcomes of the plan. Continued community involvement is needed to support the process and encourage the community's investment in the plan's outcomes.
  • Continued community involvement will:
    • maintain momentum for planning,
    • keep a high level of community awareness of planning,
    • ensure the comprehensive community plan stays applicable to the community,
    • encourage continued political support of, and attention to, planning and implementation,
    • create an administrative culture that is responsive to community needs, and
    • create a community culture of strategic thinking and long-term vision.
  • Identifying who will be responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of the CCP is: a critical decision. Appointing the right people or committee for this responsibility can go a long way to ensuring the CCP does not end up sitting on a shelf. This responsibility can rest with council, administration, or an implementation committee.  Individuals and groups responsible for implementing activities will also report on progress and share lessons learned.
  • In accordance with the community's process for monitoring and evaluation, which may be set out in the implementation strategy of the plan, the implementation committee will prepare regular evaluations and reports for council, administration and the entire community (annually, for example).

Incorporate Lessons Learned

Information collected during monitoring and evaluation allows you to incorporate lessons learned into the next round of planning and decision making. What went wrong and what went right? CCP is a process that will continue to evolve as your community builds on past experiences.

Revise and Update the CCP

It is critical to have a process by which the plan can be revised and updated as circumstances change and as lessons are learned. This is the only way to ensure the plan remains a relevant, useful document for your community.

First Nations child reading a book

Monitoring & Evaluation: Step-by-Step

Step 1:  Analyze Results

Analysis helps in understanding what progress is being made and what challenges have come up during the implementation stage.

To evaluate the results of the plan, the implementation committee will:

  • review project reports, and
  • analyze the progress of project implementation against annual work plans, evaluation criteria and indicators of success by speaking with people responsible for/involved in project implementation and gathering community perspectives.

Questions for the analysis may include:

  • What progress have we made compared to our goals and objectives?
  • How does this compare with the indicators for success we set for each part of our work plans?
  • Are issues being addressed effectively?
  • Is the vision being realized?
  • Are the goals and objectives being realized?
  • What is changing in the community and why?
  • Where can improvements be made?

While conducting monitoring and evaluation, keep the following principles in mind:

  • Be constructive and objective. Do not attack the efforts of others — evaluation is a tool to seek improvements.
  • Remain proactive. Try to anticipate problems and issues in the implementation phase before they arise.
  • Foster inclusiveness. Ensure everyone, including staff and community members, feels welcome to offer suggestions and ideas for improvement. Consider all opinions.
  • Be accountable and responsible to the community. The evaluation process, including reports and updates, should be accessible to all community members.


In order to know where you are going, and more importantly, whether or not you have arrived, you need to create indicators. Indicators are a way of measuring the performance or success of a particular objective or activity. For example, to help meet the objective of increasing the number of high school graduates, a tutoring program for high school students may be created. In this example, an indicator could be 1) increased enrolment in the tutoring program, 2) higher grades for high school students, and/or 3) increased high school graduates.


A baseline establishes the current status of what you are measuring. For example, if you want to measure the increase in high school graduates, then you need to establish the current number – or baseline – of graduates. Each year, you measure your progress against this baseline to determine if the numbers are increasing.

Step 2:  Review and Recommend

After analyzing the results of the plan, the implementation committee will develop a report for the leadership and the community that summarizes the outcomes of their evaluation and identifies successes and challenges.

The report will likely include recommendations for improving progress and for making adjustments or revisions to the comprehensive community plan or the implementation strategy.

Consider making annual performance reports to the community to demonstrate and celebrate achievements.

Step 3:  Revise and Update

Minor revisions and updates to the comprehensive community plan and implementation strategy can be made according to implementation team recommendations, with community input. However, from time to time, a thorough revision of the plan will likely be needed as external and internal circumstances and influences change.

Revising and updating the plan may be required if:

  • through the evaluation process, the community responds that the comprehensive community plan no longer reflects its goals and objectives,
  • a significant event occurs which introduces a variety of new concerns and issues, such as concluding a treaty or new opportunities resulting from new government-to-government initiatives,
  • the implementation strategy expires, or
  • it has been 10 or more years since the community thoroughly revised the comprehensive community plan.

For a major review, the community would go through the four stages of the planning cycle again. This time, it will likely be a much faster process than the first comprehensive community planning process as a baseline has already been set, planning experience has been built, and processes for implementation are in place.

Annual Work Plans

Most organizations, whether large, small or in-between, do annual work planning. The best way to ensure that the CCP goals will be achieved is to link them to the annual work plans of your community's administration. Connecting objectives with specific projects, timelines and names (of who does what) is critical to monitoring how well you're doing in implementing the plan. ?aqam has integrated the goals of their Community Strategic Plan into the annual work plans for each department and staff member.

?aqam has committed to producing an annual report that details progress and accomplishments on the objectives set out in the plan. When they present the annual report, they hold a community celebration and erect a tipi with each pole representing a different sector from their plan. The annual report and celebration is part of how

?aqam has made sure their implementation progress is transparent and includes everyone in the community.

Step 4:  Share and Celebrate Your Community's Accomplishments

Comprehensive community planning is an ongoing process, but be sure to take a moment to reflect on what it means to reach this point in the planning journey. Your community has worked hard to determine its future and accomplished significant results along the way. This success is due to the ongoing involvement of members in the planning process, and the dedication of the planning team, administration and leadership in implementing the plan.

To make the most of your accomplishments:

  • Hold annual celebrations where the community reflects on the year's accomplishments.
  • Be sure to share the results of each finished project, program or policy through your community website, Facebook group or monthly newsletter.
  • Take lots of pictures throughout the development of a project so it is easier to share the story.
  • Keep track of all completed projects in a binder – every time something is accomplished, the binder will grow!

Tips on How to Track Revisions and Updates to your CCP

  • When making revisions, use foot notes indicating the revision date and other relevant information.
  • Use binders instead of books so that pages can be added or changed out as needed.
  • Instead of using page numbers, use section numbering to make revisions easier.
  • Create a copy of the document in a program that others can edit.

Taking action

Keeping the Plan Alive: Revising and Updating the CCP

Comprehensive community planning is a dynamic process that constantly evolves and delivers new benefits, and helps communities become healthy and sustainable.

Involving the community in a regular review of the plan helps members stay engaged and gain the skills, enthusiasm and confidence to move on to more ambitious projects.

  • Stay true to your values and traditions – let them guide you.
  • Use every opportunity in the CCP process to develop skills and create training, mentorship and employment opportunities for your community.
  • Integrate language, arts and culture into all your policies, programs and projects.
  • Look for economic development opportunities in projects – short and long-term.
  • Continue to build on your successes, providing benefits to your community for many generations to come.

Building Communities Through Implementation

Diagram showing how to build communities through implementation. Spiral shows different phases from implementation to healthy communities: quick-start project, building on skills and confidence gained, evaluate and feed in lessons learned, develop best practices, take on more ambitious projects.  Upward arrow on left side: building capacity and employment opportunities. Upward arrow on right side: Strengthen language and culture.

Monitoring & Evaluation: Tools

The tools section of this Handbook contains practical tools and worksheets that can help during the monitoring and evaluation stage:

Tool 5: How and When to Engage Community Members
Techniques to help involve the community in the planning process

Tool 6: Ways to Increase Participation
Further techniques to inspire more participation from the community

Tool 13:  Goals, Objectives and Projects Tracking Chart
A chart to record, link and monitor goals, objectives and projects/activities

Monitoring and Evaluating the Plan with a Community Census
Musqueam First Nation

Musqueam First Nation cultural centre

Musqueam First Nation (MFN), located adjacent to the city of Vancouver, is on the cutting edge of First Nation community planning.  After nearly a decade of developing a range of plans and related documents, the community adopted their We Are of One Heart and Mind: Comprehensive Community Plan. Completed in 2011, this plan encompasses membership and council objectives with the overall goals of becoming a self-sufficient, self-governing First Nation with a healthy community. The community has begun the journey of moving toward this vision and has developed a thorough approach to monitoring and evaluating the Musqueam First Nation community planning process.

Looking Beyond Facilities and Programs

A brief tour of the community would lead one to believe that the MFN is well on its way to achieving the objectives in the community plan. A new cultural center, sports fields and a brand new recreation center are highlights in the community. Other projects and programs are also being implemented as the planning process continues to build momentum. However, these were not the only things the community plan was meant to accomplish – new facilities and programs do not build a community, people do. The MFN wanted to ensure that the community plan was making a difference in the lives of its members, not just carving a path for new buildings. To measure the impacts of the plan on this level requires a long-term approach to monitoring and evaluation.

Establishing a Baseline

Monitoring and evaluating a plan requires a baseline against which progress, or the lack thereof, can be measured. To gather this information, MFN completed an initial community survey in 2008. Information gathered through the survey was used to create the community plan. This was combined with past community profiles to create a baseline of where the community was in terms of overall health, employment, cultural practices and other pertinent information. Members who completed the surveys were entered into a draw for prizes.

Musqueam First Nation cultural centre

Musqueam First Nation administration office

Measuring Impacts of the Plan

In 2011, the survey was expanded to an in-depth community census of 120 questions. This census measured the membership's perspectives on the plan's progress and gathered data on the actual impacts of the plan. If the programs, projects and new facilities were making a difference, then the data would reveal positive results in the health, social and economic indicators.

The MFN worked in partnership with a professor from the University of British Columbia to ensure the survey was free from bias, measured the appropriate indicators and gathered the relevant data.

This is the first round of the survey. In the future, the survey will be administered every three years. The results will be used to amend the comprehensive community plan and adapt it to changes in the community.


Tool 1: Centre for Innovative & Entrepreneurial Leadership (CIEL) Community Life Cycle Matrix

Actualization Phase

Community is highly developed and encourages learning and innovation, while respecting history and culture. Community shares resources with others and regularly monitors itself, continuing to enhance capacity.

Action: Community undertakes regular reviews and reflection activities to maintain or enhance stage / phase.

Pre-Community or Chaos Phase

Community is undeveloped. Limited sharing of resources or recognition of value of a community.

Action: Community can (re)form through the identification of and action of influential and respected leaders (elected or unelected).

Emergence Phase

Community exists but has significant problems, making anything but survival and fulfilling short-term needs impossible.

Action: Community can advance through focus on small, non-political, trust-building projects to build success, respect, confidence, relationships and skills.

Vision Phase

Community recognizes the importance of vision and long-term planning; is able to move in this direction.

Action: Community can engage in planning, meaningful consultation of its members, and working towards the development of strategic thinking and planning, and, ultimately, identifying community-wide values, distinct community characteristics and a vision.

A Developmental Guide For Communities: Communities (geographic, communities of interest, etc.) gain resilency & capacity as they move clockwise through the phases. Movement through the stages and phases is not necessarily linear. No community is static; once a stage has been attained, conscious thought and effort must be expended to maintain or move beyond it.

Why the Matrix

The challenge of developing innovative and entrepreneurial communities is in ensuring that the communities have a clear picture of where they are at and where they want to go. This enables a better match of the tools available with both the capacity of the community and the hoped for goal. For example, while strategic planning may work for some communities, the planning process may also lead to frustration and failure in other communities that do not have the necessary trust, social capital or capacity.

Who can use it

Anyone within a community or organization can begin this conversation. The Matrix can be used for geographic communities, communities of interest, or even communities within communities. One city manager used the Matrix for polling city councillors about the state of local social, arts, business, and cultural communities.

The Matrix-based process can be undertaken by a group that represents the diversity within the community. Or, it can be used to assess the differences in perceptions among various groups in the community: seniors and youth, long-time residents and new-comers; business leaders and social service agencies; service providers and clients.

How to use it

Use the Matrix to stimulate conversation in your community: Which phase are we at? Are different sectors of the community - youth, arts, business etc. - at different stages? How far have we come?

Members of the community participate in a conversation to determine together what phase or stage their community is at on the Matrix. This can be a formal or informal process. Each phase of the Matrix is accompanied by suggestions for action to progress through the stages.

Community members can identify where they want the community to be (there is an alternative!) and the incremental steps that can be taken in order to get there. Our experience has taught us that communities, like families, feel they are more dysfunctional than they really are. Knowing there are others out there like you is a liberating thought. The Matrix also provides some common language and terminology that allow those conversations to take place, and it seems to be an excellent way to show progression.

The Matrix can be self-administered or CIEL staff can facilitate a session with individuals or community groups. The Matrix works as a rough gauge to enable a community to develop a self-portrait, as it were. The Matrix harnesses the perceptions of citizens and leaders to gain an understanding of the community.


Most importantly, the community together can identify where they want to be and the incremental steps that can be taken and the resources needed by the community in order to get there. Communities can move forward or backward around the Matrix cycle. Progress can be uneven and is not necessarily linear. Some communities require huge leaps or paradigm shifts to move from one stage to another.

Additional Resources

CIEL recognizes that no community is one-dimensional and that once the conversation gets started, it can be useful to assess the different characteristics that make up a community or organization. We have entitled these "Connectivity and Co-operation"; "Vitality";

"Inclusivity and Community Values"; "Leadership"; "Strategic Capacity"; "Community Sustainability"; and "Community Entrepreneurship".

For those who wish to delve more deeply into what "makes their community tick", CIEL staff can guide a Matrix-based process that examines each of these characteristics. We are also developing a free on-line assessment that can enable a community to assess their vitality across these categories and match them with some suggested tools.

Contact the CIEL office or visit our website for more information.

T: 1-250-352-1933
F: 1-250-661-1395
Toll free: 1-800-661-1395 /

Tool 2: Components of a Proposal

Tool 2: Components of a Proposal
Cover Letter Introduces your proposal 1 page
Title Page Professional look 1 page
Table of Contents Reference 1 page
Project Overview
(Executive Summary)
Umbrella statement of your project and summary of the entire proposal 1 page
Background About your organization and the community it serves 1 paragraph to 1 page
Project Rationale Why is this project necessary 1 to 2  pages
Project Goals & Objectives Results 1 page
Program Description Nuts and bolts of the project: activities, responsibilities, time lines 1 to 3 pages
Budget Financial description of the project plus explanatory notes 1 page
Partnerships Describe any partners that may be participating in the project, as well as
the benefits of the partnership (cost-sharing, mentorship, training, etc.)
1 paragraph to 1 page
Project Evaluation How you will measure the success/results of your project 1 to 2 pages
Follow-up Sustaining your project 1 page
Appendices Supporting documentation As required

Tool 3: Terms of Reference for a Planning Team


The purpose of the planning team is to support and guide the development of a Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP).  The planning team may continue to provide support during the implementation and monitoring/ evaluation phases of the planning process.


As much as possible, the planning team will be representative of the community as a whole and may include representatives of

  • The community at large including Elders, youths, family groups
  • Members of community groups
  • Chief and Council
  • Boards of Directors
  • Administrators, managers or staff from key departments

It is recommended that the planning team size not exceed 15 members to ensure it can carry out its work as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Commitment and Accountability

Participation in the planning team is voluntary. Planning team members are committed to making the CCP process a success and are accountable to all First Nation members. They take their voluntary role seriously and agree to attend regular planning team meetings. Planning team members are encouraged to serve on the planning team for defined periods of time. (e.g., two years)

Roles and Responsibilities

Planning Team

Led by the Planning Coordinator, the planning team will:

  • initiate and coordinate activities in the pre-planning and planning phases of the CCP process, including community involvement and communication

More specifically, the planning team will:

  • carry out or delegate research related to CCP
  • make recommendations for obtaining technical planning support (consultants), as necessary
  • coordinate fundraising and lobbying activities in support of CCP planning activities 
  • bring forward to the community and Chief and Council any recommendations or concerns regarding the effective development of a CCP
  • recommend a community and leadership endorsement process for
    the CCP
  • recommend an evaluation and revision process for the CCP
  • carry out other related tasks, as required

Planning Coordinator

The planning coordinator will act as the chair and secretary of the planning team. He/she will:

  • call, organize and chair planning team meetings
  • act as a spokesperson for the planning team
  • liaise with the community, administration, leadership, consultants and strategic partners, as required
  • guide the development and implementation of planning team work plans
  • provide direction to the planning team, as required

Recommendations and Decision-Making

The planning team will base its activities, recommendations and decisions on the direction received by the community. The planning team will endeavour to make any decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be achieved and the decision directly affects a recommendation for the implementation or revision of the CCP, the planning team will seek community input, or include a dispute resolution clause in the plan.

Tool 4: Comprehensive Community Planning Checklist

This checklist provides a starting point to lead the community through the key steps in each planning phase.



Background Information gathered on:

Community Analysis — Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Common issues and strengths identified  by the community in the key areas of:

Vision and Values
Comprehensive Strategic Framework
Goals and Objectives

Common goals and objectives identified by community in the key areas of:

Projects and Activities

Projects and Activities identified in the key areas of:

Implementation Strategy
Community Endorsement

Implementation and Monitoring

(adapted from

Tool 5: How and When to Engage Community Members

Tool 5: How and When to Engage Community Members
Tasks Roles of Participation Participation Mechanisms
  • Provide input to planning process
  • Provide input to planning team members
  • Provide input to Terms of Reference
  • Community meetings
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
Gathering Background
  • Provide demographic and socio-economic data
  • Provide historical context
  • Review findings and products of planning team
  • Community meetings
  • Home visits
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Community planning centre
Visioning and Values
  • Express dreams of future
  • Explore community values
  • Create vision statement
  • Review findings and products of planning team
  • Community meetings
  • Home visits
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Community planning centre
Identifying Issues and
  • Describe community strengths and weaknesses
  • Describe opportunities and threats to community
  • Define historical processes and causes for current situation
  • Review findings and products of planning team
  • Community meetings
  • Home visits
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Community planning centre
Identifying Goals and
  • Identify specific community goals and objectives
  • Review findings and products of planning team
  • Community meetings
  • Home visits
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Community planning centre
Identifying Projects/
  • Identify specific projects and activities to achieve community goals and objectives
  • Specify results/outcomes desired
  • Review findings and products of planning team
  • Community meetings
  • Home visits
  • Focus groups
  • Open house
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Community planning centre
  • Site Visits
  • Mapping exercise
Community and Leadership
  • Participate in plan approval process
  • Community meetings
  • Focus groups
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter
  • Referendum
Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Prioritize projects and activities
  • Developing and implementation work plans
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation of work plans
  • Provide comments and constructive criticism
  • Annual/bi-annual
  • Community meetings
  • Quarterly/bi-annual/
    annual newsletters

Tool 6: Ways to Increase Participation

Community Meetings

Community meetings are semi-formal events to request input, report on progress, or gain endorsement for stages in the planning process. Provide the community with ample notice of the meeting's date and time, location, and agenda. Distribute the results of the meeting afterward. Consider incorporating social or traditional content into the meeting, through a dinner, dance, or other traditional activity. Visual aids such as maps, charts, posters, or models can help the progress of the meeting.

Home Visits

Not everyone is able to attend community gatherings, and some members might be uncomfortable in larger settings. Informal home visits between a member of the planning team and an individual or family group is a good way to collect information throughout the planning process. Home visits and mobile presentations are one way to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate.

Focus Groups

A focus group is a small group of people who works through an issue in workshop sessions. They might be a special interest group of youth, managers, Elders, etc. Focus groups provide a comfortable setting to work collaboratively, include each member's input, and generate new ideas. Focus groups can seek solutions to particular problem areas; if an issue arises, draft five to six questions for the focus group to discuss in informal yet structured conversation.

Open House

An open house is an informal event with no set agenda and is accessible to the public for an extended period of time. Clear and thorough advertising is required to ensure a good turnout. Open houses encourage the involvement of individuals who may not be comfortable voicing their opinions in front of a larger group. Community members can browse displays, read through information, and make notes and suggestions on maps and flipcharts.


Community surveys are useful tools to collect data, gather opinions on options, and gauge support for the process. For mail-out surveys where the community member fills in the answers themselves, questions must be clear and concise, and not require undue effort from the individual providing feedback. For surveys conducted one-on-one with individuals by planning team members, questions can be broader and more open-ended. To collect a higher number of surveys, some communities have chosen to offer prizes with winners drawn from all returned forms.


A regularly published newsletter (weekly, monthly, each planning stage, etc.) will help keep residents and off-reserve members informed of the planning process. Establish a simple visual format to make newsletters look consistent throughout the stages of planning. Newsletters can be delivered to homes, mailed to off-reserve residents, emailed, or posted on a website. Information on proposals or projects will allow people to digest the data and have formal discussions prior to community meetings.

Community Planning Centre

A (semi)permanent planning centre or planning room in a politically neutral building may create new opportunities for discussing important issues and reaching greater numbers of community members. Encourage the community to drop in to browse displays of maps, photographs, large-scale models, and information on community planning and its importance. An anonymous suggestion box may encourage further input.


Create a community planning website to describe the planning process, give updates on the planning process, and provide contact information for planning team members. Post newsletters, meeting dates, and agendas on the site, and ensure the information is regularly updated. Provide links to other websites of your Nation (e.g., band administration website or Treaty website).


Creating a Facebook group is a great way to engage members (on reserve and off) in the planning process.

Mapping Exercise

A mapping exercise may be best conducted during focus groups, at the community planning centre, or during open houses. Begin with a base map — such as an aerial photo, blank map, or survey map — and encourage community members to draw on the map to identify areas of importance. These important areas could include subsistence areas, landmarks, flood areas, water sources, sacred sites, watershed protection areas, gravel sources, geological features/barriers, community buildings, airport, housing areas, roads, etc. The map can then be used in developing land use designations and identifying future tasks to include in the comprehensive community plan.

Site Tours

Tours of the community, reserve lands, neighbouring lands, or potential Treaty Settlement Lands may help members visualize opportunities and concerns to be addressed in the community plan. These site tours can be fun and social events, and can help to generate interest and excitement in the planning process.

Community Action Projects

Involving the community in organized collaborative projects can help to create a spirit of cooperation about planning and build pride in the community. Examples of community action projects include cleaning up a stream or old dump site; community yard cleaning day; assisting the Elders with their yards and home maintenance; beautifying a public space; or repairing community assets, such as bus shelters.

Radio Advertising and Talk Shows

Purchase a regular advertising slot on a local radio station to inform residents of upcoming community meetings and social gatherings, publicize newsletters, and provide planning updates. A talk show involving members of the planning team, community members, and political leaders can be useful for discussing important community issues.

Activity Week

Plan a community planning activity week including activities that involve people of all ages, such as:

  • Art project – children create artwork on a theme such as "This is something I like in my community"
  • Poster project – a contest to create a poster and/or logo to be featured in planning publications and materials
  • Photography workshop – collect and reproduce historical photographs of people, places and events connected to the community; take a series of "before" pictures for future comparison; create a photo essay of community participation in the planning process
  • Storytelling – provide an opportunity for Elders to relate stories of the history of the community

Regional Planning Agency

With other First Nations, develop a regional non-governmental agency to act as a planning resource and training centre. First Nations persons with a background in planning should staff the centre; provide training, support and insight into community planning; and undertake long-term broad monitoring.

Constitutional Development

The development of a community constitution can help to support planning through establishing a common community vision, ensuring public involvement in the governance and decision-making processes, and creating accountability and monitoring mechanisms.

Tool 7: Community Groups to Engage and Involve

Chief and Council

It is essential that leadership stay involved with, and supportive of, the planning process.  As Council's role is to initiate the process, provide leadership and encouragement, and direct administration through the process and implementation, they must have a working knowledge of the plan and its contents, and also represent their vision of the community.  The planning team should meet especially with Council to gather information about the community, ask for input and ideas during each stage, discuss administrative changes that will enable implementation of the plan, and obtain acknowledgement of the community's endorsement of the plan.


Band administration and staff are excellent sources of information, particularly during the more detailed planning stages of identifying strengths and issues, setting goals and objectives, and setting tasks.  Because administration will be responsible, in large part, for implementing the plan, all staff should be familiar with the plan, particularly the projects in their area of responsibility.


The Elders are an essential support structure for the planning process.  Their input should be sought out during each planning stage, particularly for traditional, cultural and historical knowledge, and their unique program and service needs.

Family Heads

Liaising with, or assembling a group of, family heads is an excellent way to disseminate planning information and generate support for the project.  Family heads could be designated to stay informed of the planning progress or sit as members of the planning team, communicate with family members and solicit their input, and provide this input back to the planning team.

Youth and Children

As "leaders of tomorrow," youth should be encouraged to participate in the planning process.  Create a youth council or focus group to provide input, and organize special youth activities in each planning stage.  The youth should be heavily involved in the visioning process, as well as in identifying goals and objectives, and program and service needs.

Community Groups

Within each community, there are numerous other groups that the planning team may be able to access, or make presentations to.  These other groups may include traditional and cultural societies, business groups, sports clubs and groups, women's support groups, religious groups, and others.


Additional considerations may include engaging on vs. off reserve members, or providing child care to encourage participation of parents. Venue, day, time of day and time of year are all important factors to ensure broad participation.

Community Groups, Community Members, Nation Administration, Elders, Family Heads, Youth & Children, Chief & Council

Tool 8: Communication Tips

How to Create a Supportive Environment:

  • Emphasize that it is okay to make mistakes and to speak out even if you're not sure your idea is a good one
  • Try to leave personalities out when dealing with issues
  • Let emotions be released and discussed
  • Ground rules (principles of respect) could include not cutting people off or making them feel threatened
  • Emphasize that debate is a good thing
  • Try to make sure both men and women are speaking and that people are encouraged to speak up
  • Keep information short and to the point
  • Take the time to make sure everyone understands the information coming across
  • Provide child care

How to Make an Effective Presentation:

The planning team will make a series of presentations throughout the planning process.  Some tips for an effective presentation:

  • The introduction should be attention-grabbing
  • Summarize your main points at the beginning of the presentation
  • Make sure the points flow in the right order
  • Include easy to understand visual aids
  • The conclusion should be as short as possible, and be tied to your introduction
  • Make sure everyone can see the presentation
  • Distribute a hard copy or other related documents, if applicable

How to Communicate Effectively:


  • Who are you speaking to? (Know your audience)
  • What is your most important message?
  • When is the best time to convey this message?
  • Where is the best place to have this discussion?
  • Why should they listen to you? (What is the value in your message?)
  • How can you best get the message across?


  • Keep the message clear and simple
  • Be prepared
  • Be engaging when delivering the message
  • Be natural
  • Keep the message to-the-point

How to Run an Effective Meeting:

  • Distribute an agenda to attendees prior to the meeting
  • Encourage active participation
  • Keep the meeting moving at a comfortable pace
  • At the end of the meeting, summarize the discussion and any recommendations
  • Circulate concise meeting notes to community members

How to Resolve Disputes:

  1. Define and Recognize
    1. Review the current environment
    2. Assemble information
    3. Describe the situation and review the contributing factors
    4. Specify the goal of what needs to be accomplished
  2. Search and Explore - Generate Alternatives
    1. Go beyond "either/or" solutions
    2. Identify as many solutions as possible
    3. Define criteria for decision
    4. Assess various alternatives, advantages, disadvantages and consequences
  3. Decide - Choose a Solution
    1. Select the most appropriate solution
    2. Determine implementation plans – who does what, by when?
    3. Follow-up on tasks assigned
    4. Evaluate solution and implementation
Communications Tactics Matrix
Who What information
are you sharing?
(what medium?)
How often? Message Content creator Deadline/
Off-reserve members              
Chief & Council              
Other communities,

Tool 9: Steps to Hiring a Professional Planner

In order for the CCP to be a relevant, useful document for the community, the planning team and community must lead the planning process. Many communities who are successfully implementing their plan have not engaged the services of a professional planner. In some cases, however, there may be a role for a consultant to provide expertise and contribute to building planning capacity in the community.

1.  Find a planner

You may wish to seek referrals and recommendations from other First Nations who have had positive experiences with specific planners. Try not to engage consultants with a "prepared" approach to comprehensive community planning — a good planner will listen to you, work with you and propose an approach that reflects your community's unique situation.

2.  Contact a selected list of planners

Send a one page letter to potential planning consultants asking if they would be interested in participating in your community's comprehensive community planning process. The letter should outline expectations, planning timelines and a deadline to contact you to receive the Request for Proposal.

3.  Prepare a Request for Proposal

The Request for Proposal (RFP) expands upon the one page letter and contains detailed terms of reference for the comprehensive community plan. These terms of reference will help the consultant formulate a proposed budget for the work. Details may include the number of meetings or workshops the consultant will lead, what deliverables are required (such as reports or workshop handouts), what the expected interaction with the project leaders will be, what the timeline will be, etc. Consider whether or not to reveal your budget if a consultant requests project details.  Your response may be: "I cannot reveal the budget, but it is within the costs normally associated with this type of project."

When working with consultants, it is important that the role of the consultant is that of an advisor, and not the leader or decision-maker. It is important for the consultant to help build and leave capacity in the community. When preparing the RFP and negotiating the contract, think about ways that you might integrate capacity building for your community. For example, the consultant can act as a mentor and trainer to members of the planning team, or can agree to hire interns from the community.

4.  Evaluate the consultants

Evaluate the consultants' submissions using a "matrix" with criteria to judge the submissions. If there are a number of submissions, it is often advisable to have a group/committee involved in the evaluations. If possible, evaluations should be undertaken without reference to company names (although this is sometimes impossible). As an alternative, a group/committee can evaluate the submissions but not assign company names to the final evaluation matrix, so that when presented to Chief and Council or the planning committee for review, decisions can be based on the evaluation, without knowledge of specific companies. Company names and individuals are eventually revealed, but an evaluation matrix assessing a number of important factors (without reference to the companies or individuals involved) is an invaluable tool for objective decision-making. Reference checks can then be made once the list is shorter to double check their reliability, honesty and overall fit with the community. Presentations and/or interviews can also be held with a shorter list of candidates.

5.  Develop a contract

Prepare and sign a financial contract with the consultant. The contract should contain the RFP/Terms of Reference for the planning study; the proposed work plan and time frame; the consultant's submission, based on the terms of reference; and, other details regarding liability, insurance, costs and payment schedule. The final contract should be signed by the consultant and Chief and Council.

Tool 10: Community Asset Assessment Charts

After completing the following forms, you will have an overview of the programs, services, infrastructure, utilities and capacity building assets and needs in your community.  Feel free to create similar charts to gauge other community needs and priorities.

Capital Projects and Infrastructure Assessment
  Do you
have it?
Condition Sufficient
Yes No Good Avg. Poor Yes No Yes No
Council Building                  
Community Hall                  
Elder housing                  
Fire station                  
Health Centre                  
Internet Service                  
Police Building                  
Solid waste
Youth Centre                  

Services Assessment
Resources Existing? Improvements
Category Type Yes No Yes No
Governance Community involvement        
  Fire protection        
  Emergency response        
Land &
Land use planning        
Social Education        
  Social assistance        
  Child care        
  Domestic violence        
  Suicide prevention        
  Life skills        
Health Nutrition        
  Substance abuse        
  Health promotion        
  Family Planning        
Culture Language        
  Arts & crafts        
Economy Human resource development        
  Community economic development        
  Economic development corporation        
  Water treatment        
  Village maintenance        

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