“A healthy community is a form of living democracy: people working together to address what matters to them”.
The community action plan is one of the participatory tools used to build the capacity of community members in taking action in accordance with the problems, needs, and potential of the community. It is a road map for implementing community change and delivery of essential services by clarifying what will be done, who will do it and how it will be done. The plan describes what the community wants to achieve, what activities are required during a specified time period, what resources (money, people and materials) are needed to be successful.
A community action plan becomes a framework for implementing the activities that are decided by the community itself. The focus is more on the process of understanding and overcoming problems in order to rebuild people's lives rather than just physical development such as building houses, providing health services or recreational facilities for example. It is important to understand that the community should be the main actors in preparing their own community action plan. Producing the action plan helps people to take realistic and concrete steps toward participatory development planning in order to improve the services important to them. By bringing everyone together to think and discuss about resources and group involvement, this tool increases awareness about the skills and resources already available in the community.