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This section currently has one strategy tool plus web links.

Effectively engaging stakeholders in analyzing a problem together and identifying promising solutions (charting a course) is crucial in problem-solving--but fraught with pitfalls. Done well, participatory planning can produce better substantive ideas, useful relationships and institutions, new agreements across stubborn divides, and wider support for action. But such planning can also lead to frustrated expectations, lowest-common denominator (weak) ideas, power grabs, and other failures. The "Planning Together" tool shows how to design and manage planning efforts more effectively in a world of changing rules.

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An asterisk (*) indicates a web resource with primarily U.S.-based or focused content. Other sites are more international in scope.

1. Planning (general and community-based)

*Planning guides (list) #1 (Community Toolbox)
*Planning guides #2 (Community Building Resource Exchange) 

Planning guides #3 (Community Empowerment and Social Inclusion)

Planning guides #4 (Development Gateway) 

Planning guide #5 (Community Visioning and Strategic Planning)

*Planning guide #6 (Community planning in human services and health)

*Planning guide #7, including Info Technology (visioning, regional planning, sustainability, sustainable development)  

*Planning guide #8 (Asset-based Community Development Institute)

Planning guide #9 (Introduction to Business Planning for Nonprofits) Keywords: nonprofit management, social impact, measuring success

*Planners Book Service (American Planning Association). Resources for citizen planners, planning professionals, and elected officials. Emphasis on urban development and spatial planning.

*Neighborhood collaborative planning (Bibliography)

Creating a Theory of Change Keywords: program design, best practices, logic models, pathways, cause and effect, theory of change 

2. Participatory Design

Participatory Design Overview
Participatory Design Guide 
Participatory Design Bibliography 

3. Facilitation (general)

We don't advertise or recommend particular businesses, but for helpful info, see:

International Association of Facilitators (includes guides, training)
Facilitation of On-Line Communities (Resource List and Discussion)

Interaction Institute for Social Change (process designers and trainers) 

Community at Work (process designers, facilitators, researchers)

4. Graphic Facilitation

Facilitation Graphics (overview and history) 
Group Graphics Overview
Visual Practitioner's Association 
Grove Consultants
Hands On Graphics 
Facilitation Graphics for Mediators 

5. Decision Support (Simulation, Scenarios, Forecasting)

Simulation Center 

Visioning Scenarios and Community Conflict 
Decision Support Systems Resources
Creating a Theory of Change Keywords: program design, best practices, logic models, pathways, cause and effect, theory of change

6. Deliberation, Decision Techniques, Group Creativity

National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (www.thataway.org) is a network of individuals and organizations working to strengthen and unite "the growing dialogue and deliberation" community and practice.

The Consensus Building Institute 
Study Circles Resource Center 
Electronic Town Meetings (AmericaSpeaks) 
Deliberative Democracy.Net
(includes an e-Bulletin)
Brainstorming Techniques (Mind Tools) 
The Creative Process (concepts, stages)
(Many more links are under "creative process," "design process," "problem-solving," and "visual thinking" at Google.)

7. Managing Diversity and Cultural Factors in Planning

Technology of Participation (Institute of Cultural Affairs) 
*Race and Community Building (Aspen Institute) 
*Inter-group relations and conflict management (National Conference for Community and Justice)
Multicultural Planning History (By Sandercock) 
Culture, Power and Communication in Community Building (article)
*Diversity and Community Development (Development Leadership Network)