Community & Economic Development

Community & Economic Development

For more than 40 years, the Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development has worked alongside government officials and civic leaders to help build a better Mississippi.

As a local leader, your time and resources are limited. You struggle to find the resources, data, or strategies necessary to address challenges facing your community.

Through training, customized assistance, and research, the Stennis Institute staff has the expertise, resources, and capacity to help you make the difficult decisions needed to address those challenges and move your community forward.

Services Provided

  • Action planning & implementation
  • Asset identification & development
  • Capacity development & training 
  • Citizen engagement
  • Collaboration building & collaborative action
  • Community planning & design
  • Grassroots project implementation
  • Impact mapping
  • Plan implementation
Community Development Services Graphic


First Impressions

Ever wonder what people visiting your town think? First impressions are important as the community works to improve the overall quality of life and uncover its sense of place. First Impressions is a Stennis Institute program that allows you to see your community through the eyes of a first-time visitor.

First Impressions First Impressions

Strategic Doing

Strategic Doing is an exciting new approach that helps local communities, regions, and organizations form the collaborations needed to address complex challenges.

Strategic Doing Strategic Doing

Ripple Effects Mapping

Initiatives undertaken by nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, local governments, etc. positively impact the communities they serve, and Ripple Effects Mapping (REM) engages stakeholders in a fun and participatory process to document the results. Both intended and unintended outcomes can be discovered through the REM evaluation technique. 

Ripple Effects Mapping Ripple Effects Mapping

Aspire Mississippi

Designed to help build economic development support networks in select communities, participants will receive basic education and training while designing and implementing collaborative strategies to address specific challenges impeding local economic progress.

Aspire Mississippi


  • Chamber of Commerce Staff & Boards
  • Non-Profit organizations and boards
  • Neighboring associations
  • Main street and downtown associations
  • Economic development organizations
  • Local governmental officials
  • Educational institutions
  • Volunteer organizations
  • Community foundations