Local planning requires substantial thought and effort on the part of the entire community to identify local issues, develop strategies to address these issues, and generate action items. These are basic components of most local plans, but the enthusiasm and energy that go into identifying these components seldom go into approaches to actually implement the plan itself. The Local Plan Implementation Toolkit was developed by the Public Health Law Center in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Health Statewide Health Improvement Partnership. It is intended to guide public health professionals, planners, and other community partners involved in the planning process in assessing, organizing, and prioritizing local plan implementation actions to improve community health outcomes and create more equitable communities.
The Local Plan Implementation Toolkit Overview introduces the local plan implementation toolkit and provides a general overview of local planning. The Overview provides context into the impact of local planning on community health. It provides background into the history of planning as it relates public health, discusses the importance of health equity in local planning, and highlights some legal considerations for planning at the local level.
These three resources (the worksheet guide, the completed sample, and the blank fillable PDF) can be used by anyone involved in the planning process. They allow community members to develop community-specific action plans to make progress on the community health goals and objectives included in a local plan. The worksheet can be filled out during a community meeting or workshop, incorporating feedback from everyone.
Evaluating the implementation of a local plan can help planners, public health advocates, and other community members better assess progress and spot opportunities to support community health goals.
The Increasing Access to Healthy Food resource was designed to help communities think through the process from goal through implementation, with a focus on food systems planning. To do this, it provides examples of goals related to land use, food access, and food insecurity. For each goal, the resource contains a wide array of sample implementation actions involving policies and partnerships.
To effectively implement a local plan, planners and involved stakeholders will often need to bring in partners from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to help work on planning activities. As communities begin to identify issues, goals, and action items, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the large volume and wide array of possible partners. The Working with Community Partners resource facilitates the identification of resources and partners available to communities as they work on their planning goals.