Step by Step Guide

This Framework is based on a set of six principles offered by CDN as being fundamental to effective planning. These principles are informed by leading practices in contemporary public policy. They have been schematised here particularly for the context of cultural organisations.

Step 1


…responds to the collective values of the community that underpin the founding document or constitution of the organisation.

Complete Step 1

Step 2


…is directed towards goals, the desired long-term futures determined by the organisation and articulated in the constitution or or a legislated governing document. These goals are considerate of context. The local situation: history, existing practices, assets, resources and challenges are considered in planning for the future.
Objectives (intended outcomes) are set to enable specific measurable achievement towards the goals.

Complete Step 2

Step 3


…is focussed on outcomes, that is, the difference our work will make to those we are responsible to serve, rather than the activity undertaken to get there. Measurable outcomes help us determine whether objectives were met.

Complete Step 3

Step 4


…involves decisions informed by evidence. This includes practice knowledge, published research or data that provides information about the local context, the issue being addressed and possible ways to address it

Complete Step 4

Step 5

Theory of Change

…uses a program logic to assist and explain choices of activities. A theory of change is the reason why we do what we do. It can be represented by this short summary:
We are aiming for . . . (this intended outcome),  and we know . . . (this evidence),  therefore, we will do . . . (this activity).

Complete Step 5

Step 6


…includes evaluation consistently as part of the normal work process. Evaluation findings are used to inform future decision-making.

Complete Step 6