Category Archives: Working with communities

Community engagement, community development, asset-based community-driven development, community capacity building etc

Strengths-based measurement and collective impact

Data driven approaches like collective impact often prioritise shared measurement and collecting data, particularly quantitative measures, and do not consider the impact of what questions they ask, how they collect data, and who is responsible for interpreting the data. If … Continue reading

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A strengths-based approach to collective impact

Collective impact is an approach to addressing complex social problems. As discussed in the previous post (Collective impact and community engagement), community engagement needs to be at the heart of collective impact, but the (sometimes subtle) message underlying too many initiatives is that the community is part of the problem. When initiatives take a top-down approach and do not involve the community from the start, they are implying that the community has little of value to offer. Continue reading

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Collective impact and community engagement

Kania and Kramer 1 argue that collective impact involves “the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors.” There can be a great deal of variation in how these “important actors” are defined and identified. Some collective impact initiatives are quite top down with a focus on government agencies and professional community services rather than adopting a more bottom up approach that starts with community members. Continue reading

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What is collective impact?

Collective impact is a multi-sector/multi-agency, collaborative leadership approach to large scale social change in communities that is usually place based (i.e., it is focused on a particular town, neighbourhood or community). Continue reading

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Power and strengths-based practice

Despite the wide spread acceptance of strengths-based practice—What family or community service would not claim to be strengths-based?—practice does not always live up to the rhetoric.
One of the things that often undermines practitioners’ claims to be strengths-based, is that they fail to recognise the way in which strengths-based practice challenges traditional power relationships. Continue reading

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4 types of power: What are power over; power with; power to and power within?

When I first started as a youth worker in 1991, I was working in a medium-term accommodation unit for young people who were homeless. I really struggled with being in a position of authority having just graduated from a welfare … Continue reading

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Special days and dates for families and communities – 2019

There are many international and national days/weeks that focus on issues facing families and communities. The following are some of the more significant ones in 2019. I generally haven’t included the many charity days and days focusing on specific health … Continue reading

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A video introducing asset-based community development (ABCD)

This is a brief introduction to ABCD—asset-based community development (or asset-based community-led development)—produced by The Calabash Trust in South Africa. I like how it discusses the idea that the health of our minds and hearts affect our material well-being.  Too much … Continue reading

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Resources for churches on asset-based community development (ABCD)

A while ago somebody asked me about resources on strengths-based approaches to community development for churches. Here are some suggestions, mainly related to asset-based community-driven development (ABCD). Articles about ABCD and churches or faith communities. Barrett, A. (2013). Asset-based community … Continue reading

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Presenting 2 papers at the Family & Relationship Services Australia conference

I’ve had two papers accepted for the Family & Relationship Services Australia conference in Cairns in November this year. One on the Alternatives to Violence Project and one on Uni4You: the abstracts are below. If you are at the conference, … Continue reading

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