Angela Blanchard – Building on the strengths of communities

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:

  1. It focuses on community assets and strengths rather than problems and needs
  2. It identifies and mobilises individual and community assets, skills and passions
  3. It is community driven – ‘building communities from the inside out’ (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993)
  4. 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.

If you liked this post you might want to follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. What is asset-based community-driven development (ABCD)?
  2. What is the Strengths Perspective?
  3. Kids’ Vegies on the Verge: strengthening a sense of community (as an example of ABCD)
  4. What is Appreciative Inquiry?

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
This entry was posted in Strengths-based approaches & ABCD, Working with communities and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Angela Blanchard – Building on the strengths of communities

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great thinking thanks for sharing. I am using app based on same believes you should also play this game.Smart Citizen 2.0, a Social Media App launched on the 9th of July, is a smarter version of the first season that was launched last year. It is a part of the CSR activity of Ingersoll Rand, a brand involved in the manufacturing of energy-efficient products.


  2. Wow! What a concept! So inspiring, but I wonder why it took so long for someone to say what we all must have thought at one point or another. Great! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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