Plan: Introduction

As you work on your particular topic or area of concern, you find that you need to provide information or skills, encourage a change of behavior, raise awareness, or encourage participation in solving a problem. How do you get from the situation you have identified to the outcomes you hope for?

The PLAN segment of this website offers resources in 7 areas that are helpful for organizing and delivering an outreach initiative that makes use of Best Practices to ensure success. These are:

Depending on where you are in the process you may find it helpful to begin your exploration with one of these website resources:

Water Outreach: Setting up a Program – for an introduction to website resources: from getting started; to improving; to evaluating

Get Started: a New Program – if this is your first program, or you want to revise an existing program, this page helps you decide what questions to ask and where to find answers, including: general questions about education; what do you want to accomplish;  planning strategies that engage the target audience; how to employ best education practices

QUICK TIPS – outlines 9 steps to program planning, with links to more detailed information about each step

The Logic Model (PDF, 1 pp., 10KB) worksheet provides a simple way to begin. Print out the worksheet and jot down notes about your situation and what you plan to do. Once you’ve completed your notes, look across categories to see if the outputs you chose will lead to the outcomes you are hoping for. For more information and ideas about each of the parts of the Logic Model, review Design Program.

For more background about the principles that underlie planning, see Education Planning and related topics in BEP Research.

Defining Successful Water Programs offers a discussion of the importance of good planning in Cooperative Extension programs and suggests parameters of success.

BEP Website Resources walks you through the wide collection of theory, advice, and recommendations available on this Website.


There are a number of resources available to help natural resource professionals plan their outreach or training initiatives. Here are a few examples: