LEAP Planning & Evaluation Cycle / Step 3

Step 3. How will we do it?

Step 3 is about working out a plan of action that will bring about the outcomes we identified in Step 1.  LEAP identifies three components of action-planning that should be considered:

  • Identifying the resources to be used and who will provide them - these are called the inputs
  • Being clear about the means and methods to be used by stakeholders - these are called the processes
  • Specifying the particular actions that each stakeholder will take - these are called the outputs

What resources will we use? - Inputs
Inputs are many and varied, but generally come from three main sources:

  • The community (skills, commitment, local knowledge etc)
  • Local agencies, organisation and partnerships (e.g. dedicated staff time and skills, funding for or lease of buildings, equipment, services)
  • Other agencies external to the local setting (e.g. European Community grants, government policy statements and guidance)

LEAP calls these people the stakeholders.

Between them they can bring to bear a range of resources: skills, knowledge, energy, time, money, equipment, facilities and relevant and supportive policies.

It is essential to be clear what each group is willing and able to contribute and to look at how to maximise the benefits that can be gained from combining their resources.

What methods will we use? - Processes
The processes are the means and methods we use to bring about the changes we seek.  Examples include:

  • Training
  • Network development
  • Community organising
  • Action research
  • Marketing
  • Information provision
  • Advocacy
  • Campaigning

The processes define the overall approach we take to achieving this.  There will usually be several processes involved.

It is important not only to identify whether the methods will achieve what we want (effectiveness) but also to consider whether, in the light of other needs to be addressed, the level of resources required can be justified (effeciency and equity).

What will we do? - Outputs
The outputs are the specific things that will be done to achieve the desired change, or outcomes.  By definition, outputs are within our control, so we can set targets for them.  As well as setting targets for what will be done, we can also decide in advance who will do something and when it will be done, for example:

  • The community education worker will undertake an audit of learning needs of refugee families in the local community and report to the community learning partnership in three months time
  • The public health practitioner will organise a public meeting to review proposals for a Healthy Living Centre

Transparency and specificity about what will be done when and by whom sets clear targets for each partner and are the basis for mutual accountability between them.

Knowing what we want to do doesn't necessarily mean we can do it.  We need to know if our plan is feasible.  The processes we will use, the inputs we will need and the action that we will take are all linked and interdependent.