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How to Create a Community Action Plan

An action plan is a work plan

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.

Make a Plan!

AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities

A map showing network membership at the end of 2019.

An action plan is an "active" rather than static document. Revisions and amendments are a sign of program improvement and progress, not of failure. 

For examples of completed action plans, visit the age-friendly network's Member List and look for the "Action Plan" links.

Also check out the resource links at the end of this page.

An action plan is based on the results of community surveys identifying needs within the 8 Domains of Livability that influence the health and quality of life of older adults.


The action plan is an actual document, presented with the following elements:

  1. Cover page
  2. Executive summary or letter from the state or community's top elected official 
  3. The table of contents
  4. A community profile
  5. An introduction to the plan
  6. An explanation of how the plan was developed
  7. Information about who was involved in the development of the plan
  8. Information about who will manage the implementation of the plan
  9. Other information that is important to the plan
  10. The action plan
  11. 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:

  1. A statement of what must be achieved (aka: the goals or output)
  2. Activities that have to be followed to reach the objective or goal
  3. The target date for completion and/or a schedule for when each activity 
  4. Identification of the group or individual responsible for each activity
  5. Clarification of the inputs or resources for completing the task
  6. 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.

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