A reading list on ABCD (over 100 resources)

ABCD (asset-based community-driven development)The following are readings I have collected about asset-based community-driven development (ABCD) and other asset-based approaches to working with communities. (If you want you can read my brief introduction to asset-based community-driven development and at the bottom of this post are other posts I’ve written relevant to ABCD.)

While many of them are available online, some of them are chapters from a book or journal articles that are only available online if you (or a library you belong to) has a subscription.

Because it is quite a long list I have grouped them under the following headings:

  1. Some places to start
  2. General ABCD resources freely available on the internet
  3. General ABCD resources not freely available on the internet
  4. Asset-based approaches to health
  5. Other strengths-based approaches to working with communities

They are listed alphabetically under each heading (except for the ones in Some places to start)

There are also a range of other great resources at:

  1. The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (Publications; Training videos and podcasts and an ABCD Toolkit)
  2. The Coady International Institute
  3. The Jeder Institute
  4. The Nurturing Development blog
  5. The Bank of IDEAS
  6. Sustaining Community blog (this blog)

Please let me know if any links are broken and feel free to add any other resources you have found useful in the comments.

Some places to start

Kretzmann, J. P., & McKnight, J. L. (1993). Building communities from the inside out: a path toward finding and mobilizing a community’s assets. Evanston, Ill.: Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, Northwestern University. Introduction available from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/publications/basicmanual/ (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Cunningham, G., & Mathie, A. (2002). Asset-Based Community Development — An Overview. Paper presented at the Asset Based Community Development Workshop, Bangkok. http://www.synergos.org/knowledge/02/abcdoverview.htm (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

McKnight, J. (2013). A Basic Guide to ABCD Community Organizing. Evanston, Il.: Asset Based Community Development Institute. Available from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/A%20Basic%20Guide%20to%20ABCD%20Community%20Organizing%283%29.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2003). Who is driving development? Reflections on the transformative potential of Asset-Based Community Development. Antigonish, Nova Scotia: Coady International Institute. Available from http://coady.stfx.ca/tinroom/assets/file/resources/publications/5_Who_is_Driving_Development.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Green, M., Moore, H., & O’Brien, J. (2006). ABCD in Action: When People Care Enough to Act. Toronto: Inclusion Press. Introduction available from http://www.mike-green.org/pub/abcd_book_introduction.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Diers, J. (2004). Neighbor power : building community the Seattle way. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Kretzmann, J. P. (2010). Asset-based strategies for building resilient communities. In J. W. Reich, A. Zautra, & J. S. Hall (Eds.), Handbook of adult resilience. New York: Guilford Press.

General ABCD resources freely available on the internet

Bank of I.D.E.A.S. (no date). 10 Key Community Development Beliefs Available from http://bankofideas.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/10-community-beliefs-BOI.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Bergdall, T. (2003). Reflections on the catalytic role of an outsider in ‘Asset Based Community Development’ (ABCD). Available from: http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/ABCD-outside-catalyst.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Black, A., & Hughes, P. (2001). The identification and analysis of indicators of community strength and outcomes, Occasional Paper No 3. Canberra: Department of Family and Community Services. Available from https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/05_2012/no.3.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Brooks, D., & Stuart, G. (2011). Building on the strengths of communities. Defence Family Matters, Spring Summer, 12-13. Available from http://www.defence.gov.au/dco/DFM/Archive/2011/DFM_Spr_11.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Brooks, D., & Geggie, J. (2015). The Emergence of ABCD in Australia and the Asia Pacific. Available from: http://abcdasiapacific.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-emergence-of-abcd-in-australia-and-the-asia-pacific (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Cameron, J. (2000). Asset-based community and economic development: Implications for the social capital debate. Presentation notes for Alison Burton Memorial Lecture.. . Canberra: Royal Australian Planning Institute. Available from http://www.communityeconomies.org/site/assets/media/old%20website%20pdfs/Papers/word%20files/Assets%20Based%20Community%20and%20Economic%20Development.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Coady International Institute. (no date). An asset-based approach to community cevelopment practitioner manual. Ahmedabad , India: Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). Available from http://coady.stfx.ca/tinroom/assets/file/resources/abcd/SEWA%20ABCD%20Manual.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Cunningham, G. (2011). Community economic literacy and the “leaky bucket”. Antigonish, Canada: Coady International Institute. Available from http://coady.stfx.ca/tinroom/assets/file/OP9.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Diacon, D., & Guimaraes, S. (Eds.). (2003). Agents rather than patients: Realising the potential for asset-based community development. Coalville, UK: Building and Social Housing Foundation. Available from https://www.bshf.org/publications/agents-rather-than-patients/ (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Duncan, D. (2015). The Four Components of Effective Collective Impact: Through the Lens of Asset-Based Community Development and Results-Based Accountability. Rockville, MD: Results Leadership Group. Available from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/The%20Four%20Components%20of%20Effective%20Collective%20Impact%20ABCD%20RBA%281%29.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Emery, M., Fey, S., & Flora, C. (2006). Using Community Capitals to Develop Assets for Positive Community Change. CD Practice, (13). Available from: http://srdc.msstate.edu/fop/levelthree/trainarc/socialcapital/communitycapitalstodevelopassets-emeryfeyflora2006.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Filapek, J. (2015). Organizing neighbors to be teachers: Learn BIG! Facilitating a neighborhood teaching and learning event with elementary school students. Menasha, WI.: Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin. Available from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/OrganizingNeighborstoBeTeachers.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Hopes, K., McKnight, J., & Lawrence, H. (2015). Asset Based Neighborhood Organizing: The Method of the Abundant Community Initiative in Edmonton, Canada. Evanston, Il.: Asset Based Community Development Institute. Available from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/Edmonton%20write-up%20draft%203%282%29.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

International Association for Community Development. (2009). What Are Asset-Based Approaches to Community Development? Fife, UK: Carnegie UK Trust. Available from http://csl.ubc.ca/files/2010/04/What-Are-Asset-Based-Approaches-to-Community-Development.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Kretzmann, J. P., & McKnight, J. L. (2003). Introduction to asset mapping. Avaiable from www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/abcd/IntroAssetMapping.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Kretzmann, J. P., & McKnight, J. L. (2005). Discovering community power: A guide to mobilizing local assets and your organization’s capacity. Evanston, Ill.: Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, Northwestern University. Available from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/kelloggabcd.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Kretzmann, J. P., & Rans, S. (2005). The Engaged Library: Chicago Stories of Community Building. Evanston, IL: Urban Libraries Council. Available from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/ULCReport.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Martin, M., Peters, B., & Corbett, J. (2012). Participatory Asset Mapping in the Lake Victoria Basin of Kenya. Journal of the Urban & Regional Information Systems Association, 24(2), 45-55. Available from http://www.urisa.org/clientuploads/directory/Documents/Journal/Vol%2024%20No%202.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Marwood, C., & Clare, S. (2008). Bearing fruit: Good practice in asset-based rural community development. London: Development Trusts Association. Available from http://www.communityplanning.net/pub-film/pdf/BearingFruit.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2002). From Clients to Citizens: Asset-Based Community Development as a Strategy For Community-Driven Development. Antigonish, Nova Scotia: Coady International Institute. Available from http://coady.stfx.ca/tinroom/assets/file/resources/publications/4_From_Clients_to_Citizens.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Mathie, A., & Peters, B. (2014). Joint (ad)ventures and (in)credible journeys evaluating innovation: asset-based community development in Ethiopia. Development in Practice, 24(3), 405-419. doi: 10.1080/09614524.2014.899560 Available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09614524.2014.899560 (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

McKnight, J. (2003). Regenerating Community: The Recovery of a Space for Citizens. The IPR DIstinguished Public Policy Lecture Series. Evanston, Il.: Institute for Policy Research. Available from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/abcd/regenerating.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

McKnight, J. (2009). Community capacities and community necessities. Paper presented at the From Clients to Citizens Forum, Coady INternational Institute, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Available from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/McKnight%20Speech%207-09.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

McKnight, J. (2013). The four-legged stool. New York: Kettering Foundation. Available from http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/The_Four-Legged_Stool.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

O’Leary, T., Burkett, I., & Braithwaite, K. (2011). Appreciating assets. Dunfermline, Fife: International Association for Community Development Available from http://www.iacdglobal.org/files/Carnegie_UK_Trust_-_Appreciating_Assets_FINAL-1.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

O’Leary, T. (2006). Asset based approaches to rural community development: Literature review and resources. Falkland, Scotland: International Association for Community Development. Available from http://www.iacdglobal.org/files/rpt250407AssetBasedApproachesIACD2_0.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Peters, B. (Ed.). (2013). Applying an Asset-Based Community-Driven Development approach in Ethiopia, 2003-2011: Final internal evaluation report. Antigonish, Canada: Coady International Institute. Available from http://coady.stfx.ca/tinroom/assets/file/ABCDEthiopiaFinalEvaluation.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Peters, B., Gonsamo, M., & Molla, S. (2011). Capturing unpredictable and intangible change: Evaluating an asset-based community development (ABCD) approach in Ethiopia. Antigonish, Canada: Coady International Institute. Available from http://coady.stfx.ca/tinroom/assets/file/OP10.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Potter, R. (2015). An impact assessment of the Great Yarmouth Family Connectors project. Cambridge: AnalyticsCambridge. Available from http://www.analyticscambridge.co.uk/FamilyConnectors.php (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Russell, C. (2015). Asset Based Community Development (ABCD): Looking Back to Look Forward: In conversation with John McKnight about the intellectual and practical heritage of ABCD and its place in the world today  Available from http://www.nurturedevelopment.org/looking-back-to-look-forward-the-intellectual-heritage-of-asset-based-community-development-cormac-russell-new-book/ (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Stuart, G., Brooks, D., & Stephens, C. (2009). It’s nearly time to go: Asset Based Community Development with transient caravan park communities. Parity, 22(2), 27-28. Available from https://sustainingcommunity.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/its-nearly-time-to-go/ (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

The Ford Foundation. (2004). Asset building for social change: Pathways to large-scale impact  Available from http://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/fordfoundation.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Willetts, J., Asker, S., Carrard, N., & Winterford, K. (2014). The practice of a strengths-based approach to community development in Solomon Islands. Development Studies Research, 1(1), 354-367. doi: 10.1080/21665095.2014.983275 Available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21665095.2014.983275 (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

General ABCD resources not freely available on the internet

Al Abbasi, S. (2009). Microfinance, institution-building and development: An Egyptian case study. (M.D.E. MR50084), Dalhousie University (Canada), Canada.

Brooks, D. (2009). Easy as ABCD – Making social inclusion happen. Drug Action: NSW COmmunity Drug Strategies Newsletter, Spring, 4.

Brooks, D., & Stuart, G. (2011). AI and Asset-Based Community Development in the Defence Community Organisation. AIPractitioner: International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry, 13(2), 65-69.

Bull, T., Mittelmark, M. B., & Kanyeka, N. E. (2013). Assets for well-being for women living in deep poverty: through a salutogenic looking-glass. Critical Public Health, 23(2), 160-173. doi: 10.1080/09581596.2013.771811

Burkett, I. (2011). Appreciating assets: a new report from the International Association for Community Development (IACD). Community Development Journal, 46(4), 573-578. doi: 10.1093/cdj/bsr054

Butterfield, A., Kebede, W., & Gessesse, A. (2009). Research as a Catalyst for Asset-Based Community Development: Assessing the Skills of Poor Women in Ethiopia. Social Development Issues, 31(2), 1-14.

Cameron, J., & Gibson, K. (2005). Alternative Pathways to Community and Economic Development: The Latrobe Valley Community Partnering Project. Geographical Research, 43(3), 274-285.

Ennis, G., & West, D. (2010). Exploring the Potential of Social Network Analysis in Asset-based Community Development Practice and Research. Australian Social Work, 63(4), 404 – 417.

Green, G. P., & Haines, A. (2012). Asset building & community development (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE.

Hipwell, W. T. (2009). An asset-based approach to indigenous development in Taiwan. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 50(3), 289-306. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8373.2009.01402.x

Hudson, B. (2010, 2010 Jun 17). Community assets and the Big Society. Community Care, 28-29.

Kunnen, N., MacCallum, D., & Young, S. (2013). Research strategies for assets and strengths based community development. In F. Moulaert, D. MacCallum, D. Mehmood, & A. Hamdouch (Eds.), The international handbook on social innovation: Collective action, social learning and transdisciplinary research. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

MacLeod, M. A., & Emejulu, A. (2014). Neoliberalism With a Community Face? A Critical Analysis of Asset-Based Community Development in Scotland. Journal of Community Practice, 22(4), 430-450. doi: 10.1080/10705422.2014.959147

Mathie, A., Cameron, J., & Gibson, K. (Forthcoming). Asset-based and citizen-led development: Using a diffracted power lens to analyze the possibilities and challenges. Progress in Development Studies.

Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2003). From Clients to Citizens: Asset-Based Community Development as a Strategy For Community-Driven Development. Development in Practice, 13(5), 474-486.

Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2008). From clients to citizens: Communities changing the course of their own development. Warwickshire, UK: Practical Action Pub.

McKnight, J. (1995). The careless society : community and its counterfeits. New York: BasicBooks.

McKnight, J., & Block, P. (2010). The abundant community : awakening the power of families and neighborhoods. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Murphy, L., Kordyl, P., & Thorne, M. (2004). Appreciative inquiry: a method for measuring the impact of a project on the wellbeing of an Indigenous community. Health Promotion Journal of Australia: Official Journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals, 15(3), 211-214.

Raniga, T. (2013). Mobilizing community strengths and assets: participatory experiences of community members in a garden project. In A. K. Larsen, V. Sewpaul, & G. O. Hole (Eds.), Participation in Community Work. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Walker, J. E. (2006). Building from Strength: Asset-Based Community Development. Communities & Banking, 17(1), 24-27.

Yeneabat, M., & Butterfield, A. K. (2012). “We Can’t Eat a Road:” Asset-Based Community Development and The Gedam Sefer Community Partnership in Ethiopia. Journal of Community Practice, 20(1-2), 134-153. doi: 10.1080/10705422.2012.650121

Asset-based approaches to health

Appleford, G. (2013). Exploring strengths-based approaches in the design of a family planning project in Kenya. Development in Practice, 23(1), 145-150. doi: 10.1080/09614524.2012.718741

Baker, D. (2014). Developing and implementing a robust asset-based approach to public health. Perspectives in Public Health, 134(3), 129-130.

Brooks, F., & Kendall, S. (2013). Making sense of assets: what can an assets based approach offer public health? Critical Public Health, 23(2), 127-130. doi: 10.1080/09581596.2013.783687

Durie, R., & Wyatt, K. (2013). Connecting communities and complexity: a case study in creating the conditions for transformational change. Critical Public Health, 23(2), 174-187. doi: 10.1080/09581596.2013.781266

Foot, J., & Hopkins, T. (2010). A glass half-full: How an asset approach can improve community health and well-being. London: IDeA. Available from http://www.assetbasedconsulting.net/uploads/publications/A%20glass%20half%20full.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Friedli, L. (2013). ‘What we’ve tried, hasn’t worked’: the politics of assets based public health. Critical Public Health, 23(2), 131-145. doi: 10.1080/09581596.2012.748882

Henry, H. (2013). Exploring an asset-based approach to nursing. Nursing Times, 109, 15-17.

Henry, H. (2013). An asset-based approach to creating health. Nursing Times, 109, 19-21.

Mclean, J., & MacNeice, V. (2012). Assets in action: Illustrating asset based approaches for health improvement. Glasgow Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Available from http://www.gcph.co.uk/assets/0000/3650/Jan_2013_update_of_assets_in_action_report_WEB_SMALLER.pdf (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Morgan, A., & Ziglio, E. (2007). Revitalising the evidence base for public health: an assets model. Promotion & Education, 14(2 suppl), 17-22. doi: 10.1177/10253823070140020701x Available from http://ped.sagepub.com/content/14/2_suppl/17.abstract (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Tedmanson, D., & Guerin, P. (2011). Enterprising social wellbeing: social entrepreneurial and strengths based approaches to mental health and wellbeing in ‘remote’ Indigenous community contexts. Australasian Psychiatry, 19, S30-S33. doi: 10.3109/10398562.2011.583078

Whiting, L. S., Kendall, S., & Wills, W. (2013). Rethinking children’s public health: the development of an assets model. Critical Public Health, 23(2), 146-159. doi: 10.1080/09581596.2013.777694

Other strengths-based approaches to working with communities

Born, P. (2008). Community Conversations: Mobilizing the Ideas, Skills, and Passion of Community Organizations, Governments, Businesses, and People. Toronto, Canada: BPS Books.

Cameron, J., & Grant-Smith, D. (2005). Building citizens: participatory planning practice and a transformative politics of difference. Urban Policy and Research, 23(1), 21-36.

Department for Community Development. (2006). Contemporary literature on capacity building and the strengths perspective and good practice wisdom for the Capacity Building Strategic Framework 2005 to 2007. Perth: Government of Western Australia, Department for Community Development.

Gibson-Graham, J. K., Cameron, J., & Healy, S. (2013). Take back the economy : an ethical guide for transforming our communities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Introduction chapter available from http://takebackeconomy.net/?page_id=65 (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

McCashen, W. (2004). Communities of hope: A strengths-based resource for building community. Bendigo, Vic.: St Luke’s Innovative Resources.

Murphy, L., Kordyl, P., & Thorne, M. (2004). Appreciative inquiry: a method for measuring the impact of a project on the wellbeing of an Indigenous community. Health Promotion Journal of Australia: Official Journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals, 15(3), 211-214.

Reimer, E. C., & Nixon, D. (2004). The place of social justice in strengths-based social welfare work. Children Australia, 29(2), 14-19.

Saleebey, D. (2009). Community development, neighborhood empowerment, and individual resilience. In D. Saleebey (Ed.), The strengths perspective in social work practice (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Sullivan, W. P. (1992). Reclaiming the community: the strengths perspective and deinstitutionalization. Social Work, 37(3), 204-209.

Young, S. (2006). What is the best modern evidence to guide building a community? West Perth: Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. Available from http://www.aracy.org.au/publications-resources/area?command=record&id=132&cid=6 (Last accessed 10 April 2016)

Sustaining Community Blog

If you liked this post please follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at some of the following posts that relate to ABCD and other strengths based approaches to working with communities:

  1. What is asset-based community-driven development (ABCD)?
  2. What is community capacity building?
  3. What is the Strengths Perspective?
  4. What is Appreciative Inquiry?
  5. A story of two communities
  6. ABCD and appreciative inquiry
  7. ABCD and Making the invisible visible
  8. ABCD in Ethiopia
  9. A brief history of ABCD in Australia and New Zealand
  10. ABCD stories
  11. Angela Blanchard – Building on the strengths of communities
  12. Asset-Based Community Development Empowers Neighborhoods
  13. Asset-based community-driven development in Ethiopia
  14. Social change and strengths-based approaches
  15. Bottom-up community development
  16. Cormac Russell explains Asset Based Community Development
  17. How painting can transform communities
  18. Introducing ABCD in a workshop
  19. It’s nearly time to go: ABCD with transient caravan park communities
  20. Learning from ABCD in Ethiopia
  21. 10 things I’ve learnt about strengths-based community engagement
  22. Some good articles/links – strengths-based practice
  23. Some good articles/links – ABCD

About Graeme Stuart

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

4 Responses to A reading list on ABCD (over 100 resources)

  1. Elizabeth Jayne says:

    Sorry – here’s correct email address!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Elizabeth
      I don’t get your email address through comments, so hopefully you see my response below. Feel free to send me a message via the contact form if you want and then I can respond via email.


  2. Elizabeth Jayne says:

    Hi Graeme,

    Many thanks for this fantastic list. I’m currently running a course on Asset Based approaches to working with communities at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Would it be possible to share this list with my students as it includes quite a few references, especially to non UK work that I’ve not come across?



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