Working Group Action Planning Template

This template provides a tool to be used by action planning working groups in determining implementing strategies to help reach the initiative’s goals.  The template consists of four sections to guide the structure and planning around the actions and strategies proposed by each working group. These will be filled out gradually and will evolve over time given community needs, but can be used as a tool to organize your work and communicate it with the ITC Head Office and the broader community.

Working group name:

  • Goal:
  • Description:
  • Rationale:
  • Co-Chairs:

Date of Final Draft Action Plan: ________________________

Date Approved by ITC Head Office: ______________________________

Define the Team

Identify the members of your working group, including roles such as co-chairs, members, and leads of individual strategies/actions.  This roster will evolve over time, as new strategies are identified and new ideas emerge for who needs to be involved for successful planning, adoption, and implementation of strategies.

Organization Name Title Role (e.g., Chair, Member, Strategy Lead)

Develop Strategies

Each working group will identify a set of strategies and actions that will collectively contribute to progress toward the initiative goal.  You will identify strategies that are both short- and long-term, and are assessed against a set of common criteria to ensure that the strategies are selected and sequenced in such a way so as to help meet the initiative goals.


Strategies could include a wide range of actions and approaches for improving outcomes for the target population, but should:

  • Be Evidence-Based: grounded in research that demonstrates potential for dramatic change in youth outcomes
  • Build on Momentum: have potential to make progress quickly and build upon existing momentum
  • Be Systems-Changing: serve as starting point for broader systems-level change
  • Move at Scale: have potential to significantly move one or more topline indicators for the CI initiative at scale
  • Be Collaborative: benefit from collaboration
  • Identify Leadership: have a clear lead organization with the commitment and capacity to move

Strategies can include:

  • Convening the right people to organize / plan action steps
  • Assuming the responsibility for implementing an action at one’s own organization
  • Coaching other institutions on how to adopt and implement strategies
  • Sharing learning to inform implementation
  • Providing analytical support such as collecting, analyzing and reporting data related to the strategy
  • Tracking progress and highlighting issues for discussion about course correction

Note that you need at least one strategy in each of the following categories:

  • Short-Term/Quick-Win: Expect implementation and outcomes in the next 3 months to 1 year
  • Long-Term: Expect implementation and outcomes over 1+ years
  • Policy and Advocacy: Pursued and implemented over any time period, at local or state, legislative or executive levels
  • Learning Strategy/Prototype: Expect implementation and outcomes over the next 6 months. Opportunities to test a strategy in a targeted manner to learn and inform future strategies (target by geography, population, partners, etc.)
Short Term/Quick Wins
(3 mos-1 yr)
Lead Org(s) / Indiv(s) Support Org(s) / Indiv(s) Target Due Date


Initial Long-Term Strategies
(1+ yr)
Lead Org(s) / Indiv(s) Support Org(s) / Indiv(s) Target Due Date


Initial Policy and Advocacy Strategies Lead Org(s) / Indiv(s) Support Org(s) / Indiv(s) Target Due Date


Learning Strategies / Prototypes Lead Org(s) / Indiv(s) Support Org(s) / Indiv(s) Target Due Date


In what areas, if any, can we co-create strategies with the target population?

Create Action Plans

For those strategies that you are advancing in the next 12-18 months, an action planning template should be created. Action plans should outline the following:

  • The target population for this strategy
Target population Description Estimation of size of population Other consideration
  • The specific agencies / organizations the working group should engage to implement this strategy
Agency / organization Role in strategy Behavior change required for strategy implementation
  • Outstanding research questions or data the working group needs to move forward with this strategy
Research question / data needed Discussion / next steps / plan to answer the question or gather the data
  • The monthly tasks the working group is taking on to move forward with this strategy (note: this may include answering the research questions or collecting data)
Month Goal Steps to get there with owner(s)
  • An estimation of the resources required to implement this strategy

Define Measurement Plan

After developing strategies and determining near-term action items, collective impact leaders must also develop a measurement plan to helps assess progress and gather insights for continuous learning. Some key definitions of measurement terms include:

Output:  Evidence that the strategy is underway and being delivered effectively (e.g., number of people served). Data Source: The data (e.g., government database, new survey).


Outcome:  Changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior linked directly to the strategy or group of strategies (e.g., {bfa08a400c7550404055ff04715e84c9172815d33c25eb3b84e230636ecdc007} of patients reporting daily use of control medication). Data Collection Schedule: When data will be collected, and by whom.
Target: If possible, the amount you hope to see the indicator increase or decrease, or the absolute number you hope to reach (e.g., 12{bfa08a400c7550404055ff04715e84c9172815d33c25eb3b84e230636ecdc007} decrease, 300 children).

Working groups can use this template to articulate intermediate outcomes (e.g., behavior and policy changes) and long-term outcomes (e.g., population-level outcomes) that they want to see influenced by their collective impact planning efforts.

Overall Working Group Outcome Indicators

Outcome Indicator Target Data Source Data Collection Schedule

In addition, working groups will want to track output indicators to assess whether a specific strategy is underway and being delivered effectively (e.g., number of people served).

Strategy-Level Output Indicators

Strategy or Related Strategies Output Indicator Target Data Source Data Collection Schedule

Sample Instructions for the Development of Indicators
(adapted from a community education initiative)

The preliminary mandate of this Working Group is to:

  • Recommend the key indicators linked to success for this Working Group
  • Identify underlying research that supports the selection of each measure
  • Determine sources for baseline data
  • Provide a high-level summary outlining key aspects of the baseline data / trends

Identify Indicators

The following should be used as a guide for indicator selection:

  • The indicator must be a valid measure linked to success for the goals of this working group
  • The indicator must be easily understandable to local stakeholders
  • The data must be produced by a trusted source
  • Priority is given to indicators that are comparable across the different districts, regions, or neighborhoods of the project, and that have the ability to be compared
  • All or most of the indicators must be affordable to gather and report
  • The data should be available consistently over time
  • Each indicator should be able to be influenced to a significant degree by local action, and be useful in the day-to-day work of this Working Group and other relevant actors


If there are indicators that don’t meet the outlined criteria or have no baseline data yet available but that the group feels strongly are important to monitor, please incorporate these on your list, along with a brief description of the Group’s rationale for inclusion. All indicators proposed by the Working Group will be vetted by sector experts and tested by community members doing relevant work on the ground. A final list of the most powerful indicators will be compiled across Working Groups.

Lastly, please keep in mind that, while it is important to identify the most appropriate and effective indicators, it is also vital to move forward with this work in a timely manner.  Therefore, we encourage you to do the best you can, recognizing that there will be an opportunity for further refinement throughout the course of this project.

Define Underlying Research

During this process, we are asking Working Groups to consider the strength of the research base for selecting each measure of success and determine together whether you have a minimum threshold for rigor of the research base.  As the Working Group develops its prioritized list of indicators, please also compile a reference list documenting sources where you have identified evidence of the importance of these metrics for tracking progress towards <insert overarching goal>. If during the course of your work you find an especially informative data set or seminal study that is helping to shape your thinking and may be useful to other Working Groups, please share this information with <Insert name of Backbone Organization>.

Determine Sources for Baseline Data and Current Trends

Once this Working Group has identified the most critical indicators of success, please document key sources for tracking baseline data and trends.  This information will provide the foundation upon which strategies for improvement can be drafted. 

Outline Key Messages from the Baseline Data

As the Group analyzes the baseline data that relate to the selected indicators, please work to identify major themes, issues and findings.  What are the most important messages that you would highlight about this data?  What do they mean for our work?

Key Deadlines