Rural and Northern Economic Development

Community Planning Tools

The following are innovative tools communities can use to plan and direct their own development.

  • Community Economic Development (CED) is a grassroots approach to development where communities choose deliberate actions to influence the local economy and to improve the quality of life for its residents.
  • Regional Economic Analysis Process (REAP) explains how communities can use regional demographic, labour, business and industry data to identify economic development priorities. With supporting workshops, this analysis leads to creation of an economic action plan. REAP may be used by existing regional organizations or a group of regional stakeholders committed to working together to develop a regional economic development strategy.
  • Expand Housing Options in Your Community is a project manual for community groups and organizations looking to increase community housing options.
  • First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) is a program that helps communities learn about their strengths and weaknesses as seen through the eyes of a first time visitor. This manual explains how communities can use this process to inform their decisions as they create more vibrant places to live and work.
  • Photovoice for Community Development is a tool any community can easily use to encourage community discussion and planning. Using pictures, a wide range of community members are asked to identify community strengths, issues and opportunities. This guide provides step-by-step instructions and resources for conducting a Photovoice project.
  • Co-operative Development Services, a branch of Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade, offers support and advice on how to strengthen communities by forming co-operatives of all kinds.

For more information

GET staff can provide advice, path finding and facilitation support to rural communities pursuing local economic development.

Contact the Economic Development Specialists at

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