Determine community priorities and create plans to achieve them
This phase of the program includes information and activities to help you develop a detailed plan to increase resilience in the community. These steps include:
Collecting additional data through surveys and focus groups
Prioritizing key issues
Developing a workplan
Implementing the workplan, conducting status updates, and staying engaged with partner organizations
Dig deeper into the needs of the community
The SWOT analysis conducted in the planning phase helped you get to know the community. But other data gathering methods, such as surveys and focus groups, can supply additional information.
Surveys can provide key information in these areas:
What partnerships organizations have and how they use those relationships for routine community activities (e.g., working with other community based organizations to promote wellbeing) and/or emergency response and recovery
What supports or assets an organization can bring to resilience development (e.g., supplies, training)
What opportunities exist for resilience development in the community, and what are reported priority area
Focus groups are often thought of as smaller meetings with just a few people. But, you can collect information from many people at gatherings such as town hall meetings. In both of these cases, talking to other people in the community can surface where the community is doing well and has assets that promote resilience, and where the community could benefit from more support. Focus group discussion questions may include:
What worked well in the last emergency response in this community?
What community features (e.g., presence of an asset, staff, etc.) supported the community?
Where did response not work as well? Why was that? What could be improved in the future?
Prioritize key issues
Addressing an issue or activity is important:
If implemented, it would make a significant improvement in the community’s resilience (the ability of community to withstand and recover from any emergency or disaster
If not implemented, it would leave a notable gap in the community’s resilience
Determine which activities and issues are most important
Summarizing the information you gathered from surveys and/or focus groups
Identifying possible activities to include in your resilience work plan
Asking community partners to rate the ideas
Review the issues and activities you rated and choose your top 3-5 choices
Next, examine the community sectors you reviewed when forming your coalition and consider the organizations that represent those sectors in your community. For each priority issue or activity, decide which sector or organizations could lead, support or collaborate on efforts in this area. Be sure to identify at least one priority activity from your list that a sector or organization will lead.
A lead organization commits to seeing that the issue is addressed and develops the resources needed to advance the issue such as a plan, data and policy options.
A collaborating organization commits to significant help in advancing the issue.
A supporting organization commits to help with specific circumscribed tasks when asked.
Decide the resources required to complete the activity
Organize your information using the Resource Allocation Assessment tool. For each community priority, decide which sector or organization could lead, support or collaborate on efforts in this area. Then, record what resources are required to complete the activity.
Develop a workplan
With the information from surveys and focus groups, and the identification and key issues and available resources, your coalition has the ingredients for a resilience workplan. The plan should consider:
Key areas for resilience strengthening
Priorities based on whether it will improve resilience in the community and the feasibility of implementation
Information on what each organization (coalition members) will do to support the work plan
Use the Workplan tool to identify the problems or issues in your community and then provide detailed information about what you plan to do and the type of change it will create. Please complete one template for each activity you plan to conduct.
After drafting your workplan, seek feedback and by-in from stakeholders and the community. You may want to plan an event to review your plans, or present to City Council members, among other ideas.
Implement the workplan
In addition to outlining tasks and resources, workplans should also identify:
How long each activity should take
Indicators that the activity is being implemented and completed as intended (process measures)
Indicators that the activity is improving resilience capacities (outcome measures)
Meet with the coalition regularly to review status and answer questions including:
What is the coalition learning from implementing the work plan?
What appears to work and what does not?
What are the reasons for success or the challenges?
Does the coalition have the training it needs to continue the activities?
If the work plan continues, what would be needed to support implementation?
What changes should be made in the work plan now, and if so, why? What about in the future?
Staying Engaged with Partner Organizations
Check in individually with partner organizations to assess ongoing capacity and engagement. Make sure your partner and coalition organizations feel included, acknowledged and are benefiting from their role or contribution. Review tips on how to keep people engaged in our Ask the Experts Q & A.
Once workplan implementation is underway, organizations may identify difficulties in continuing the activity or have important lessons that can inform your efforts. While groups are important for shared discussion, it is also important to ask partner organizations to self-assess.
To identify possible changes or improvements, communicate with representatives of each organization in the coalition to gain their perspective. Later, meet with your coalition to discuss the feedback. The questions crafted in the Organization Self-Assessment Questionnaire will help you engage with partner organizations.