Online Learning



Foundations for Building a Neighbourhood Strategy

This course is for individuals who want to make their neighbourhood a better place, on-the-ground staff to support residents to build a plan or municipal staff who have been tasked with putting a plan together.

Have you been tasked to develop or want to build a vision and organize activities that will deepen a sense of community in your neighbourhood or town/city? How do you build the case to the decision-makers that this is a good idea?

This foundational course will walk you through 6 modules that will help you to define your reason, build the case for a plan and think about the development of the strategy. The course brings Collective impact and Asset-Based Community Development together to focus on building a plan with residents at the centre.


To walk participants through a journey to go from talking about a community plan to building the case to develop a plan. This course will equip participants with the knowledge, flow, tools, and resources to help them along the way. This course will give them the confidence to take the draft plan back to their team to finalize and implement the plan.

Learning Objectives

  • To learn what is a strategy and the process that is involved in building a neighbourhood strategy

  • To bring awareness to the importance of involving community in building a neighbourhood plan

  • To build the knowledge and skills for putting a neighbourhood plan together

This course is available to use at your own pace, but you'll be learning alongside a diverse group of Tamarack Institute learners. Engage in comments and questions on the online platform, and join Heather for monthly small group coaching to get more personalized feedback and insight.

What Will I Learn?

The Foundations for Building a Neighbourhood Strategy online course is divided into six modules.

MODULE ONE: What is a strategy?
Have you ever developed strategies that end up going nowhere, sitting on a shelf? or wonder why the strategy did not work? This is because we did not take the time to reflect on what is a strategy, why do we want to develop one, how to involve people in planning for a strategy and how to sustain the strategy. In this module we will talk about what is a strategy, why develop a strategy and the different types of strategies.

MODULE TWO: What problem are you solving with a strategy?
Understanding why you want to develop a strategy is important. Is it because it's an internal organization request, is it because you are seeing the problem in your neighbourhood or you have been doing random activities and what to bring it together for a common agenda? The reasons why you are doing a strategy are really important to help you know how to put it together.

MODULE THREE: Communicating to your why
The next step is to understand the level of support for the potential neighbourhood strategy and clearly communicate why it is important to have a strategy. You will need to think about different neighbourhood stakeholders, champions, or partners whose opinions on the issue are important.

MODULE FOUR: Engaging champions
In this module we are going to focus on building your list of individuals whom you think should be involved in the development of the strategy and how to engage with them. It is so important to engage diverse perspectives and people and groups from across all sectors and bring their voices together. We encourage you to think about diversity- this means figuring out how to go out of your way to reach those who are not normally involved or the unreachable.

MODULE FIVE: How neighbourhood strategies get done
This next module takes you to the next step which is how to create your strategy. More specifically how to develop a strategy with the community at the center. We are going to talk about Asset-Based Community Development and Collective Impact.

MODULE SIX: Putting it all Together
Understanding the purpose and having support for your strategy will go a long way in the development of a strategy that is useful. This module is the last one in this course. It's about putting everything you learned together and what better way than to share case studies of those who have built strategies to inspire you?

Register for the Online Course


Heather Keam

Heather headshot 2  July 2021

Heather is happy to be part of the Vibrant Communities team as the Associate Director for Cities Deepening Community practice. Before this position she was a Manager in the Learning Centre where she organized Community of Practices, learning opportunities, tools and resources for community change. Heather brings over 12 years of public health knowledge to this position and 16 years of experience generating action at a grassroots level using ABCD and Collective Impact.

Heather is a lifelong learner and has just recently got her certificate in Knowledge Mobilization from the University of Guelph. She has a Bachelor's degree in Health Studies from Brock University, a Graduate Diploma in Nutritional Science from Canberra University, Australia, a Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion from Canadore College

Heather loves guiding groups through the community development process of planning, engagement, implementation, and sustainability of local community efforts. Heather has presented at several provincial, national and international conferences regarding her work on walkable communities and building healthy communities.

Learn more about Heather


The Foundations for Building a Neighbourhood Strategy Online Course is hosted on Thinkific, an online learning platform. After registering for the course, you will be sent login details for the course platform, where you'll find the course videos, materials, and workbook.

Monthly small-group sessions will be announced by email.

You'll have access to the course and Monthly small-group sessions for 6 months after enrolment.

Only one learner is able to access the course per account. Please contact Ruté for group rates. 



Price: $249 for single registration with a group rate of $199 per registrant for groups of 3 and above.

The registration rate includes access to the online course platform, the course workbook, and Monthly small-group sessions.

Group rates are available - please contact Ruté for more information.


Foundations for Building a Neighbourhood Strategy

Online Course | Learn at Your Own Pace

Register for the Online Course


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For questions regarding invoicing and payments, reach out to Maranatha