The action plan presentation is an essential tool for any community in the initial phases of its AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities membership.
Once enrolled in the AARP network, a community has up to two years to complete a community assessment and develop a community action plan.
At the five-year membership mark, the community is required to submit a progress report using the indicators that were developed in the action plan. This process leads to a cycle of continuous improvement. As the action plan priorities are accomplished, new ones are identified and form the basis for additional planning and implementation.
Evaluation becomes an ongoing process as well, demonstrating progress against the baseline assessments previously identified. Evaluation helps determine ways to improve the action plan and demonstrate whether the strategies and action items are meeting the intended outcomes.
The action plan is an actual document, presented with the following elements:
- Cover page
- Executive summary or letter from the state governor or the community's mayor or county executive
- The table of contents
- A community profile
- An introduction to the plan
- An explanation of how the plan was developed
- Information about who was involved in the development of the plan
- Information about who will manage the implementation of the plan
- Other information that is important to the plan
- The action plan
- Appendices and supporting documentation
While there is flexibility in how a plan is created and what it will do, every action plan should include the following:
- A statement of what must be achieved (aka: the goals or output)
- Activities that have to be followed to reach the objective or goal
- The target date for completion and/or a schedule for when each activity
- Identification of the group or individual responsible for each activity
- Clarification of the inputs or resources for completing the task
- Identification of the indicators that will allow for measuring progress toward the goals
Depending on what's in the plan, determine in advance how to track its progress toward meeting its goals and objectives. If it isn't succeeding, adapt the plan.
The action plan is an "active" rather than static document. Revisions and amendments are a sign of program improvement and progress, not of failure.