MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Kane Faucher

Geographical Areas



Strategic planning for municipalities is a common undertaking to identify goals and objectives to improve the quality of life of their residents. Research has shown that strategic planning offers many benefits to organizations, and allows them to strategically identify, implement and achieve top priorities. The strategic plan itself is the product of the strategic planning process, though evaluating the final published plan often does not occur and a lack of academic research exists to understand if strategic planning is producing quality strategic plans.By evaluating strategic plans in Ontario using a plan quality framework designed from a newly published study (Evaluating the quality of municipal strategic plans, Guyadeen at al, 2023), we compare and analyze strategic planning in Ontario for smaller municipalities with a population of 15,000 to 50,000 to help answer our question, ‘Are Ontario’s smaller municipalities creating quality strategic plans?’. The findings allow us to determine the shortfalls of strategic planning in Ontario and offer recommendations. This study found that the conclusions for smaller municipalities in Ontario agrees with the Guydaeen et al. study, and that in Ontario there exists considerable room for improvement in municipal strategic planning. The recommendations include improvements to the plan quality evaluation framework designed by Guyadeen et al, along with improvements municipalities can do in their strategic planning process, and offers an opportunity for the Ontario government to take a larger role in supporting strategic planning throughout the province.