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Strategic Economic Community Analysis

SAMPLE Report Outline

The following is a brief outline of a P&A report submitted as part of a community economic development project in Canada. The report itself is approximately 100 pages of information and suggestions for the development of the community.

Each local and regional economy is unique and each situation will require its own specific approach. This analysis is just an example for discussion purposes.

P&A Management, September 30, 1998


Copyright 1998 all right reserved by P&A Management. No part of this paper or publication may be reproduced or in any other form stored in a data base or retrieval system or used in any form without prior written permission of P&A.

1     Executive Summary

    4 to 5 page overview of the report

2     Essential Notes for the Reader

2.1     Report Focus

The focus of this report is on the economic, social, and environmental realities that are, for the most part, beyond the communities control. These are issues that the community either now faces or will face in the short or long-term. As history cannot be changed, this includes an analysis of the current community profile.

2.2     Methodology

2.3     Comments on Strategic Planning

2.4     Use of Quantitative Data, Statistics, etc.

2.5     Report Structure

This report is built in ‘layers’ so that it provides information for:

1. those who will be active in identifying the issues in future,

2. those who will be directly affected by the issues and depend on solutions,

3. those who will take the leadership in solving the issues for the community.

The Layers:

Issue Identification

Explanation of Issue

Implication of Issue for Your Community

Approaches to Solution

The Inclusion of Questions:

Questions are injected in numerous places for the community to consider. (this could be at the Town hall, Development Center, business, community, discussion groups, etc.)

3     What factors have built YOUR COMMUNITY?

3.1     Ecological factors

3.2     Social factors

3.2.1  Civicness

3.2.2  Demographics

3.3     Economic factors

4     Where YOUR COMMUNITY stands today relative to other communities

    Emphasis on statistical information. Includes tables, charts, graphs etc. Takes a look at the current situation and significant trends in each category with a comparison to neighboring communities, the province/state, or national trends.

4.1     Demographics

4.1.1   Population Profile and Projections

4.1.2   Population Migration

4.1.3   Wealth distribution


4.2     Industrial Sector Dependency

A look at the significance to your community of individual companies, industrial sectors, and groups of ‘like’ sectors.

This poses the question: How should YOUR COMMUNITY structure look 10 years from now? This is virtually the essence of economic development.


4.3     Income

4.3.1   Average Per Capita Income Comparison

4.3.2   Family Structure Income Comparison

4.4  Employment

4.4.1   Labor Force Activity

4.4.2   Youth Employment

4.4.3   Women’s Roles

4.4.4   Seasonal Nature

4.4.5   Safety Net Reliance

4.4.6   Reliance on Transfer Payments

4.5    Social

4.5.1  Education

4.5.2  Crime

4.5.3  Culture

4.6    Environmental

4.7    The Provincial/State Economy: a brief profile

A look at significant conditions in the broader community.

5      What kind of community does YOUR COMMUNITY want to become?

Poses the questions:

Should YOUR COMMUNITY continue to follow existing patterns of development?


    Should YOUR COMMUNITY attempt to develop new directions or new industrial sectors?

i.e.: diversify the local economy by building weaker sectors or encourage the development of new sectors.

6     Identified Overall Issues

6.1   ISSUE #1: The community is facing a rapidly changing economy. How can prosperity, social satisfaction, and quality-of-life be secured?

6.11  Explanation

An explanation and elaboration on the stated issue.

6.1.2  Local Implications

What the issue will mean for the local community, businesses, and residents.

6.1.3  Approaches to Solution for the Community

A positive and proactive discussion of approaches that the community could take to solve, or reduce the impact of , or to take advantage of, the issues presented.

6.2  ISSUE #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ETC…

7     Local Issues and Opportunities

The preceding examined some overall community approaches to solution to the issues.

The following looks at specific sectors and what the overall issues may mean for each sector (implications). It also offers community based approaches to solution as well as some specific opportunities and challenges within each sector. It is not intended to be definitive but is designed to encourage discussion and ideas within the community and its leadership.

7.1   Industrial Sector 1

7.1.1  Overall Issues affecting this sector

7.1.2  Approaches to solution

7.1.3  Opportunities & Challenges

7.2  Industrial Sector 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ETC…

8     What kind of community does YOUR COMMUNITY want to become?

    This returns to the question posed early on in the paper. Given what we are today, where do we want to go tomorrow?

    Does the community want to be a mono-economy (reliant on one sector) or a diversified economy where both goods and services dominate the economy.

    Where does the community want to be on a scale of behavior?


consumption wpeF9.jpg (1056 bytes) arbiter community

(reliant on the larger economy)                              (setting its own direction)


8.1   Suggested Overall Approach to Solution

8.2   Specific Recommendation 1

8.3   Specific Recommendation 2, 3, 4, 5, ETC….

8.4   Who will take the leadership in economic development?

9    Identification of further research & survey requirements

10  Appendix / Graphs

11  Glossary

NOTE: the format of this report supports condensing to a brief summary of the important observations and conclusions. This is suitable for dissemination of the salient and relevant points to community groups.



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