ARDA working with StFX Extension Department to develop new strategic plan
ARDA is working with the St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) Extension Department to develop a new strategic plan.
The plan will provide the direction for ARDA’s board and staff for the next five years and will be based on information gathered from the community through one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders, four community consultation sessions, and an online survey.
“As a community-based organization, it’s essential that our strategic planning process include input gathered from our funding partners and community members,” says Gerry Grant, ARDA’s executive director.
The StFX Extension Department will be conducting interviews with key stakeholders, partners, and funders throughout the month of February and into early March and facilitating four community consultations.
“Involving community members and other key stakeholders in the planning process ensures a deeper understanding of issues and opportunities, and increases commitment to the directions indicated in the plan,” says Pauline MacIntosh from the StFX Extension Department.
As one of 12 Regional Development Authorities in the province, ARDA receives core funding from The Town of Antigonish, the Municipality of the County of Antigonish, Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. One of the requirements to receive that funding is to have a strategic plan.
“Because we receive core funding from all three levels of government it’s important that we align our priorities with theirs,” says Grant. “Having them involved in this process is vital because our strategic plan is the foundation of our core and project activities.”
The four community consultations will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on February 23rd at the St. Josephs Lakeside Community Centre, February 27th at the Arisaig Community Centre, March 1st at the community centre in Havre Boucher, and March 5th in room 021 at St. Ninian Place.
The online survey will be available on ARDA’s website, http://www.antigonishrda.ns.ca, by February 16th.
The input gathered from the all the consultations and surveys will be submitted to ARDA’s board and staff and will be prioritized for the new strategic plan which will influence the direction of ARDA’s work for the next five years.
“The community consultations and the survey are also very important because they are an opportunity for anyone to share their thoughts and vision not only for ARDA but for Antigonish,” says MacIntosh.
“We’re here to facilitate economic growth in our community and we want to know what the priorities are for Antigonish and how we can achieve that vision,” says Grant.
To develop a new strategic plan with the assistance from Extension, ARDA received funding from Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.