Prioritising and Action Planning


Prioritising and Action Planning

Community Involvement MODULE

The importance of prioritising

Any work that has been undertaken to identify your community needs and opportunities is likely to identify a broad range of ideas from different perspectives. It is therefore important to cluster information into themes, then making it possible to identify which themes are the most common.

There are different options for prioritising. If you have used digital tools such as survey monkey this can provide an element of analysis of the responses, producing graphs or tables of results.

You are also able to use a simple tally of similar responses with a ranking of most common.

You can also input your data into tools like Excel to create basic graphs and tables which visibly calculate and identify your most frequent themes and help you to establish your community priorities.

If your data is more qualitative (descriptive) and less quantitative (numerical) then you should cluster responses into similar categories or themes. This will allow you to identify which themes are most common and highlight community priorities.

It will also be important to consider what resources are available to you, as well as appropriate timescales for taking forward actions, as some may be short, medium, or long-term ambitions.

You should assess your options and review scope for social enterprise as a solution. The Enterprise Assessment Tool will help you to align your needs and priorities with scope for social enterprise solutions.

Participatory budgeting is one approach where priorities are used in community decision-making. Priorities are identified and budgetary decisions are then made based on community priorities.

Action planning

The community or project plan is a bridge between your community as it is today and its vision for the future. Plans should be informed by priorities in order to meet aspirations, and they allow you to:

  • Outline what you want to achieve – relating to priorities identified
  • Communicate your ideas to stakeholders (community, partner agencies /organisations, funders, visitors, etc)
  • Provide a basis to make decisions and clarifies your actions

The Why Have A Plan resource will help you to consider your specific priorities, recommended actions, what resources are available to you, and what actions you will take to meet your community aspirations.


The Community-Led Action Planning Toolkit give information, templates and how-to guides related to organising community planning sessions, how to construct your action plan and how to set specific and measurable goals.

Visit the link below to get an overview of what your first planning sessions should look like, and to download templates that will assist you to run these successfully.

Case Studies

Ross of Mull and Iona Community Plan

Uses community engagement to identify and prioritise local issues and create a community action plan.

Identifies the community research methods and processes used, including survey, focus groups, open public discussion, and visits to local groups and households.

General needs identified and then further researched within the survey to ensure effective action.

Glenbarr Community Investment Plan

Once themes were identified, further community consultation was undertaken, and a community organisation was deemed the best solution for carrying forard plan priorities.

Priorities were assessed for their complexity of stakeholder involvement, and labelled as long, meduim and short term development priorities.

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