As part of our mandate at Community Futures we collaborate with community partners on periodic strategic planning initiatives. In the fall of 2013 Community Futures facilitated meetings throughout our service area – North & Central Hastings and South Algonquin. Over 80 participants representing a cross-section of those living in our communities attended one of four meetings. The purpose of these meetings was to articulate and prioritize potential community economic development projects that will lead to jobs, growth and prosperity.
The key question:
What project(s) would be a good fit for our region and, if realized, would lead to sustainable jobs, growth and prosperity?
The "Results & Next Steps" report can be seen here Results & Next Steps Report
Next steps for the Regional Action Plan include encouraging ongoing dialogue through the Regional Action Plan e-Newsletter and through our website, continuing to nurture effective relationships with key community partners and reflecting upon the report's identified priorities and using them as reference points in matching Community Futures established funding priorities with those identified by our community members.
The information gathered from these meetings establishes reference points and will help Community Futures, local municipalities, organizations and individuals become more aware of projects that have been identified as community priorities. More importantly, our aim is to help facilitate and partner with local community members in seeing priority projects come to fruition.
More about the meetings...
The meetings were based upon an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach. You can learn more about the ABCD approach below.
Traditional Approach vs the ABCD Approach to Community Development
Traditionally, the first step in carrying out community improvement efforts has been to identify problems and needs that exist in the community. With an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach, the focus is on what assets the community does have, not on what it is lacking.
- Focuses on deficiencies and builds dependence Results in fragmented responses to local needs
- Residents have little voice in deciding how to address local concerns
- Focuses on effectiveness and identifies ways that people can give of their talents
- Seeks to empower people
Asset Based Community Development is:
Internally focused:Strategic planning or priority setting focuses on assets found within the community and does not rely upon the advice of outside experts or consultants.
Relationship Driven:Local people, informal organizations and institutions work hard to connect with one another in order to be sure they are working as a team, not against one another. This means good communication is key.
ABCD is based on the genuine belief that:
Every person has skills, gifts and talents important to a community; each time these abilities are used, the community is strengthened; strong communities are ones in which the capacities of local individuals are identified, valued and used and the development of the community should be built upon the talents and resources of its members.
Regional Action Plan meetings:
Monday, November 18 from 8:00-9:30am Limerick Community Centre (North Hastings)
Wednesday, November 20 from 8:00-9:30am The Bridge Community Church, Birds Creek (North Hastings)
Thursday, November 28 from 10:00am-12:00pm Lester B. Smith Centre, Whitney (South Algonquin)
Wednesday, December 4 from 9:00am-10:30am Arts Centre Hastings, Madoc (Central Hastings)