Photo of two men exchanging a card.

Planning involves developing a shared vision, mission, and objectives for the effort. It also involves developing an action plan for who will do what to implement planned activities to achieve the intended outcomes to be measured during the evaluation.

Key Questions to Consider

  • What are the priority issues identified through assessment and engagement?
  • What are the shared vision, mission, and objectives?
  • What changes in conditions (programs, policies, practices) do we need to make to achieve the mission and objectives?
  • What is our framework for action/ logic model showing how the activities to be undertaken will produce the intended objectives?
  • What are indicators that can help us measure progress when we start acting on these planned actions
  • Who can implement the activities? In what time frame?
  • How will we assure culturally-appropriate and effective implementation for our context?
  • How do we support or create mechanisms for communication and dialogue that allow diverse people to be included in the planning?

How do we do this? Here are some recommended activities to Plan

  • Establish priorities and comprehensive plans, which may include:
    • Attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (e.g., end poverty, end hunger, ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing)
    • Controlling diseases (e.g., Roadmap for outbreak response activities)
    • Reducing risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) (e.g., healthy diets, physical activity)
    • Addressing social determinants of health (i.e., modify differential exposures, vulnerabilities, and consequences for socially excluded groups)
    • Tackling environmental determinants of health (e.g. increasing access to parks, reducing indoor air pollution, increasing bike lanes)
    • Promoting healthy settings approaches in schools, universities, workplaces, food markets, and health facilities
    • Implementing safety and human security programs
  • Assess the evidence (literature, best practices) on activities done to address the priority themes and concerns identified in the assessment
  • Develop a comprehensive plan of action that is based on evidence and that includes resources and community assets to move the work forward.
  • Establish an organizational structure, including roles and responsibilities, to assure participation among relevant sectors and government departments (e.g., health, education, commerce, transportation)
  • Convene key stakeholders who can contribute—including governmental departments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), professional associations, academia, private sector, an civil society
  • Use social marketing to increase public awareness of identified community health issues, what can be done to address them, and the benefits of taking action together
  • Apply monitoring and evaluation tools from the health sector to plan activities accordingly
  • Consider the implications of the plans to assure health for all, especially vulnerable groups

Field Notes

A Healthy City for Living

Icon image of Colombia flagMEDELLIN, COLOMBIA


In 2012, Medellin set out to transform itself into a healthy city. It assessed its past, reevaluating the achievements and developments of previous efforts and administrations. It studied its present, joining efforts with the University of Antioquia in assessing and planning for a model healthy city.


Medellin sought to bring about a model of city living that assures the protection and preservation of life as a fundamental objective. It sees equity as the way to achieve it.


One of the five pillars of the management model is Healthy City, a strategy that seeks to promote living with dignity, sustainability, and quality. It plans actions that go beyond the health sector. These efforts have sought to improve its surroundings where people can either gain or lose health. Plans focus on key determinants of health and equity such as the environment, employment, education, housing, and poverty.


The Ministry of Health is the lead agency for some activities in the plan. It also coordinates and supports all of the health generating structure of the city, including those activities led by other sectors. This initiative has its own funding. Planning and the development of actions in each sector guides the development of the budget for priority activities.



  1. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Health in All Policies in the Americas: Medellin: A Healthy City for Living [Internet]; 2016. Available from:

Resources to Help You Plan

Resources from the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization:

​Resources from Partners/Countries:

  • Coming soon

Resources from the Community Tool Box (CTB):

CTB Toolkits:

CTB Troubleshooting Guide(s) for Solving Common Problems:

Other Related CTB Readings: