Finding the right people

Before you undertake any planning activities you will need to set up some people to be involved. You will need to:

  1. Create an authorising environment.
    Secure director level endorsement within council. The Tool should be adopted as the official methodology for social planning. A range of support materials, including presentations, are provided here to help you promote understanding of the Tool within council.
  2. Project co-ordinator.
    Assign a project coordinator with the responsibility to set up a process to apply the Tool. They must have the following skills:
    • Project management
    • Communication, networking, facilitation and negotiation
    • Knowledge of the workings of state and local government
    • Community knowledge and some leadership standing
    • Accepted as independent by all partners
    • Enthusiasm!

    Source: Pope J and Lewis JM (2008,) Improving Partnership Governance: Using a Network Approach to Evaluate Partnerships in Victoria. National Council of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 443–456

  3. Establish an internal council coordination group.
    This group will:
    • Review evidence to identify community needs
    • Plan community building responses
    • Establish priorities
    • Build partnerships, engage stakeholders and the community
    • Evaluate and expand community building over time.

    The coordination group should be led by the project coordinator and should comprise representatives from these different areas within council:

    • Strategic planning
    • Social planning
    • Family and children's services
    • Aged and disability
    • Recreation and leisure
    • Library services
    • Community infrastructure.
  4. Engage stakeholders from day one.
    Map all stakeholders that will be involved in the future health and well-being of your community and make the first contact. Even if decisions are not made during this stage, this contact provides the foundation for future partnerships with council. Genuinely engaging stakeholders early will build trust and commitment to positive outcomes. Stakeholders to be considered include:
    • State government agencies
    • Developers and major landholders
    • Local–regional level health and community service providers already operating in the area
    • Non-government and community organisations
    • Community members and groups from surrounding areas
    • Education providers.

Gathering your evidence