- 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’
- It is relationship driven.
As can be seen, ABCD is much more than creating an asset map. In my teaching and work, I am moving away from asset mapping to other ways of identifying and mobilising community strengths and assets.
The above video, featuring Wendy McCaig, is a great example of putting the foundations into practice without relying on an asset map.
Some of the things that stood out for me include:
- The initial discussions were with community members, not service providers
- Strengths and assets were identified through conversations and relationships (not formal asset mapping)
- There was an emphasis on what people were passionate about
- The way in which relationships developed.
If you liked this post please follow my blog, and you might like to look at:
- 10 things I’ve learnt about strengths-based community engagement
- What is asset-based community-driven development (ABCD)?
- Seven principles for a strengths-based approach to working with groups
- A reading list on ABCD (over 100 resources)
- A story of two communities
- Strengths-based measurement
If you find any problems with the blog, (e.g., broken links or typos) I’d love to hear about them. You can either add a comment below or contact me via the Contact page.
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.
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. Available from https://resources.depaul.edu/abcd-institute/publications/Documents/GreenBookIntro.pdf
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.