The Illinois Municipal Assistance Program | IMAP

The Illinois Municipal Assistance Program (IMAP) is a program designed and developed by the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University to help Illinois municipalities assess and strengthen their governance and management practices so that they can compete more effectively for economic development.


Each community receives a Governance and Municipal Practices Assessment (GMPA) that examines issues relating to governance through a comprehensive assessment tool.


A well-governed, clearly organized, effectively managed, receptive, responsive, and cooperative municipal government is a vital component for economic development.


The GMPA measures:

  • how a municipality is organized
  • the governance and management environment of
  • the municipality
  • the manner in which services and products are provided
  • the policies, plans, and procedures directing municipal activities
  • how prepared the community is to be effective in
  • attracting and retaining economic investment by the private sector

The GMPA helps elected and appointed officials focus on what needs to be done to improve planning skills, services, procedures, and practices so that the best possible environment exists in the community for creation and expansion of economic development opportunities.


Communities in Illinois that are either facing an influx of growth or a decline in population and development.


The Center for Governmental Studies professional staff can complete an assessment in approximately three to four months after initiating engagement. The timeline is dependent on receipt of material from the municipality. Before engagement, a resolution to participate in the project needs to be adopted by the municipal government.


The IMAP Assessment Team includes Center for Governmental Studies staff who have applied experience in municipal administration, economic development, planning, and governance.


Based on the results of the GMPA, each client receives a comprehensive IMAP report. The typical IMAP report consists of the following:

  • a documentation of issues and themes identified during the assessment
  • community assets and liabilities
  • the key document review findings
  • recommendations for improvements and opportunities for success

The IMAP report gives municipal leaders targets for improvements in governance and management areas to better position the community for success in economic growth and development.


Based on pre-determined criteria, your municipality may qualify for financial assistance from our program partners.

The cost of performing a GMPA depends on the size and complexity of the municipal government.


For additional information about strategic planning, please contact:

Dawn S. Peters
Assistant Director

IMAP Sponsors

Christopher B. Burke Engineering  

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Klein Thorpe & Jenkins, Ltd.

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