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Strategic Planning Toolkit: Step 3.1

Develop Strategies & Goals

Forum plan strategies should be based on research, evidence, and results of the local data analysis process in step two, including steering committee priorities and an inventory of resources and assets. The plan should state goals for each key element of the Forum approach: prevention, intervention, enforcement and reentry.

Goals are broad statements that reflect aspects of the plan’s overall purpose. For example:

  • Respond effectively to gang violence.
  • Ensure that youth and families have needed support systems.
  • Ensure that schools are safe and free of violence.

The plan will also need a set of clearly stated, realistic strategies related to each goal.

Selecting Strategies

The process of selecting specific strategies involves integrating information from published research and best practices with local experience and lessons learned about reducing youth violence. However, when reviewing evidence-based programs that were successful in other cities, keep in mind that their implementation in your city still must be customized to address local problems and resources. The selected strategies also may need periodic modifications, depending on local results and events.

For cities engaging in innovative, new strategies, tracking results is crucial. Because you will not have the benefit of learning from evidence already gathered, you must carefully monitor the results of your strategy or program and build in tracking devices to capture data on its successes, and to identify areas for growth or adjustment. Whether using an evidence-based practice or a strategy based on local experience and practice, tracking results will help communicate to your steering committee whether or not the strategy is successful.

Quick Wins

Finally, remember that achieving “quick wins” in small, specific areas—such as closing a drug market, reopening a park, or providing safe passages to school—often builds toward achieving longer-term objectives. These small, achievable “do while planning” efforts create momentum for the planning process and help build confidence that the plan will achieve positive results.

Resources for Selecting Strategies

See "Step 3: Featured Resources" for a list of useful links organized by the following categories: