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Strategic planning within the Community Futures Program for Southern Ontario

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Title: Strategic planning within the Community Futures Program for Southern Ontario
Author: Maloney, Luke
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Rural Planning and Development
Abstract: The Community Futures Program (CFP) has existed for over 30 years as the Federal Government of Canada's primary community economic development (CED) tool for rural communities. Today, the program provides operational funding for 36 small CED organizations across Southern Ontario, requiring them to provide business loans and business services to high risk clientele and participate in both community economic development projects, strategic planning initiatives. The extent to which CFDCs participate in strategic planning within their respective communities is variable, and the definition of strategic planning in CED is amorphous. Therefore, the research question used for the purpose of this research is as follows: 'How do organizations engage in strategic planning, as is required by the Community Futures Program?' In order to answer this question, the research will build off of a framework for strategic planning in CED, as developed by the University of Guelph's David Douglas. This framework, establishing the baseline criteria for strategic planning and many of the common deficiencies of these initiatives, will contextualize many of the current strategic planning initiatives being undertaken by CFDCs in Southern Ontario. Through a series of key informant interviews, CFDC decision makers will demonstrate some best practices existing in strategic planning initiatives today, and the manner of variability which exists between CFDCs in how these initiatives are undertaken.
Date: 2017
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