Community in Action
Examples of programs, policies, and tools in action.

Healthy Durant Team Action Plan Provides Direction and Increases Ownership

October 4, 2019



In rural Durant, MS, a group of committed leaders and residents knew what they wanted for their community of 2,600 people. They wanted to bring new businesses and jobs to the community. They wanted better schools. They wanted residents to feel safe.

But they weren’t sure how to get there.

They needed a clear path forward, and, just as importantly, they needed the people of Durant to have ownership of the work.

The Healthy Durant Team took its first step with the Action Plan Template.

The team dug into the tool and used it to create the Durant Action Plan complete with goals, objectives, and activities with expected results. They paired the Action Plan Template with the 27-9-3 Tool to develop messaging to support their plan. Having a clear plan for action and a strong case made it easier to get support from community members and decisionmakers.

“We have the data and messaging to justify what we’re asking for,” said Dr. Sylvia Gist, a community volunteer who helped to lead the process. “Information empowers us. We feel more comfortable. We’re more empowered to request what we need with forcefulness.”

It took some time, but “if you’re going to do it right, then you need to invest the time,” Gist said.

The step-by-step instructions in the Action Plan Template also helped the team create objectives that were SMART—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound.  

“They are so critical and the format that they provide lets you know what you’re doing, how well you’re doing it, and when you’ve finished it,” Gist said.

In the end, the time was worth it. The plan and the work the team went through to create it has given the group a greater sense of ownership over the future of Durant and helped partners see where they have a role.

With their plan in place, the Healthy Durant Team is now taking action to attract businesses, improve employment options, increase academic outcomes, and build a sense of pride in their community.


Reflection Questions:
  • Do you have an Action Plan? If not, check out the Action Plan Template.  
  • How will the people who are affected by your plan be involved in creating the plan?