Step 1: Defining Local Principles

The purpose of this step is to create structure around your local initiative. It will also help you to determine which AFC dimensions are most relevant to your community.

The first tasks in establishing an AFC involve working with community stakeholders to define the terms of reference for your initiative. This may include developing guiding principles, a vision and goals for your community, roles and responsibilities, timelines and deliverables.

Community stakeholders include older residents, business owners, municipal staff, council members, service providers, volunteers, members of postsecondary institutions, and others who share a commitment to make their community better for all.

Step 1 Key Tasks:

Task 1.1:
Form a steering committee.

Task 1.2: Create guiding principles.

Task 1.3:
Build partnerships.

Task 1.4: Create an Age-Friendly Community Profile.

Task 1.5: Discuss priorities.

Build a diverse team and clearly define team members’ roles and responsibilities. Use a “bottom up” approach and building upon existing, relevant initiatives.


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Guiding principles act as your committee’s philosophy or moral compass, to help to steer decisions, planning, and practices.


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Think about the partnerships you have and what further support your AFC initiative may need. These can include municipal departments, businesses, non-profits, post-secondary institutions, and other community organizations.


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An AFC profile is a snapshot of your community’s current age-friendly status. Information should include existing data on local statistics, as well as programs, policies, and services already in place.


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Using the information gathered in the previous steps, start to identify your community’s goals and prioritize them based on the 8 AFC dimensions.


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Resources to Support your Work: Defining Local Principles

Create Your Steering Committee Worksheet (MAREP Waterloo)

Explore Your Team's Assets Worksheet (MAREP Waterloo)

Terms of Reference Template (Age-Friendly Manitoba)

Terms of Reference Example (City of Waterloo)

Accessibility Advisory Committees (AccessON) 

Guiding Principles Example (MAREP Waterloo)

Key Informant Interviews Tip Sheet (Better Evaluation) 

Key Informant Interviews Overview (UCLA Center for Health Policy Research)

Focus Groups Overview (UCLA Center for Health Policy Research)

Age-Friendly Cities Project Methodology: Vancouver Protocol (World Health Organization) 

Holding Effective Public Meetings Tip Sheet (Planners Web)

Accessibility in Public Engagement and Public Meetings (Ontario Municipal Social Services Association) 

Profile of Older Adults Example (City of Kingston)