In this TEDx talk, Angela Blanchard (Neighborhood Centers Inc) discusses a strengths-based approach to working with communities. It is an example of what asset-based community-driven development (ABCD) looks like in practice.
ABCD is built on four foundations:
- It focuses on community assets and strengths rather than problems and needs
- It identifies and mobilises individual and community assets, skills and passions
- It is community driven – ‘building communities from the inside out’ (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993)
- It is relationship driven.
You’ll find Angela’s approach is built on these foundations. Sometimes people emphasise asset mapping as the first step in ABCD. You’ll notice that Angela’s approach doesn’t rely on a formal asset mapping process; but she clearly starts by identifying and mobilising community strengths and assets. She starts by asking questions like:
- What do you have?
- What works?
- Who’s working in this community?
- Who’s connected?
- Who do you go to?
- Who do you go to we have a concern about your child?
- Where do you go when you want information about how to succeed in this city?
ABCD starts by looking at what a community has rather than concentrating at what is broken or not there. You can see the difference it makes.
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