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Public Participation and Community Development: The Role of Strategic Planning

PAQ, Vol. 28 No. 1, (2004)

Communities increasingly adopt decision aides like strategic
planning as a way to clarify their role in local development. Many
public administrators have integrated public participation into this
planning process. This article examines the link between public
participation and strategic planning. Sustainability requires local
resources and strategies so public participation seems critical and
essential. A case study approach explores links between local
development activities and community strategic action plans laid
several years earlier, and most importantly, determines the role of
public participation in those connections. This paper attempts to answer
a series of basic questions on the structure of strategic plans developed
by communities. Do strategic plans facilitate community development?
Does participatory strategic planning increase local development and
sustainable activities in a community?

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