Luke Maloney (MSc in Rural Planning and Development Candidate, 2015 – present) 

As a requirement of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario in the provision of operational funding to Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs), organizations must engage in strategic planning initiatives within their respective communities. The nature of these strategic planning initiatives is amorphous, and although much work was undertaken in scoping the role and nature of strategic planning by the University of Guelph’s David Douglas, current understanding of best practices within small community economic development organizations is unclear. This research project seeks to clarify the relationship between strategic planning and issues of governance and stakeholder engagement, highlighting current best practices.