Client: Oaklands Community Association
Needs & Opportunities
The Oaklands Community Association (OCA) is a non-profit society with a broad mandate to serve the Oaklands neighbourhood of approximately 7,000 residents and commercial retail area. OCA had significantly expanded its programs over recent years. There was a clear need to focus and prioritize resources while ensuring OCA met the needs and interests of the community. OCA had a strategic plan from 2002, although several of the goals had yet to be achieved.
The purpose of the new strategic plan was to provide comprehensive direction for programs, services, facilities and operations over the period of 2015-2020. The new plan also adopted a triple bottom line approach to reflect social, economic and environmental values and priorities within the community.
In keeping with their broad mandate and the community’s interests, the OCA 2013-2015 Strategic Plan contained visions, goals, strategies and actions for the following areas:
- Environmental and Parks Enhancement
- Local Economic Vitality
- Social Wellbeing and Belonging
- Civic Engagement and Leadership
- Strengthening Our Association
Although the scope of the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan was limited to the neighbourhood of Oaklands, it aligned with overarching local and regional plans, including the Regional Growth Strategy; and Victoria’s Official Community Plan and Economic Development Strategy
Services & Deliverables
To carry out this project, Committee was established with members of the Board and a resident with planning background. Kim Walker had agreed to volunteer her planning, writing and facilitation services for this project. She joined the Board soon after, taking on the position of Secretary during the strategic planning period.
Kim co-chaired the Strategic Planning Committee with Eric Hallman (a former OCA Vice President). Kim led and contributed to a thorough process that involved:
- Background data gathering and analysis – community demographic profile; inventory of OCA programs/services/activities; and completion of the 2002 strategic plan goals
- Planning workshops and consultations – 4 workshops involving at various times the Board, manager & staff; an interactive display board & community outreach table at approximately 10 sunset (farmers) market events; 1 community workshop; and an open house at an annual general meeting
- Plan framework, development and documentation – a plan outline, writing & editing; desktop publishing; and distribution of the strategic plan
Residents and market patrons provided a lot of very rich information related to the neighbourhood, including: location of residency, favourite spaces and activities, valued features, and sense of community identity. Community input into a residents’ desires and priorities ranged from additional OCA services to physical enhancements and amenities.
The final Strategic Plan document contained 9 goals with 15 associated strategies and 41 specific actions. To each action the Committee assigned who would be responsible by when. This broad implementation framework could be used to monitor and assess progress.
The Board of Directors had embarked on a new strategic planning process in the context of expanding OCA programs and services. It took two years due to the volume of other activities and issues requiring attention; but the Strategic Plan was successfully completed with contributions from the OCA management and staff, Board members, and local residents
The OCA 2015-2020 Strategic Plan received several accolades, from the local community, municipality, sister neighbourhood associations, and academics at Royal Roads University in Victoria.