Local government and public policy


Community Decision Support

Using a variety of tools, Community Decision Support enhances local capacity to make sound policy choices. Tools include economic models, demographic analysis, Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping, and fiscal impact tools.

Data tools to support community decisions:

  • CARES — Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems
  • Community Commons
  • CPAC — Community Policy Analysis Center
  • OSEDA — Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis
  • PPRC — Public Policy Research Center
Community Planning

Groups, organizations and communities develop a vision, identify priorities, develop an action agenda, and successfully develop and implement programs and projects. Find a specialist in your area who can help.

Vision to Action: Take Charge Too (PDF) — Resource guide for facilitating participatory community and organizational planning.

Creating Whole Communities (CWC) — Looks to link the resources of the university's local efforts throughout the region to create whole communities.

Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) — Provides hands-on leadership training that emphasizes community building principles and strategies, project planning, organizational leadership and management practices, and personal leadership skills.

MY LoGo — Missouri Youth Engaged in Local Government

Middle school students learn with local government officials about local government. They make recommendations on local issues and take action on local issues facing communities.

Missouri Poll Worker Training

A comprehensive state-wide training program for Missouri poll workers provides materials that can be mixed and matched to fit differing training timelines needed by local election officials.

Missouri Communities Deliberate

The deliberative process helps to mitigate conflict, polarization and stalemates that commonly result over issues where there are no optimal solutions and that require public input.

MU FRTI — University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute

MU FRTI offers educational and skills training to fire and emergency responders. Working within local communities throughout the state, MU FRTI provides a broad range of training programs that over complex public protection issues.

Information on taxes from the MU Truman School of Public Affairs
About the Community Development Program

MU Extension helps people create communities of the future. Community development education helps citizens tap into local strengths and university resources. Read about impacts the program has had on Missouri communities.


  • Thursday, July 10, 2014
    LEXINGTON, Mo. – Visitors to historic Lexington, Missouri, can learn about the town’s rich Civil War history through an audio walking and driving tour created through the University of Missouri Extension Community Arts Program.
    Media available: photos; video


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