Tag Archives: For students

An introduction to strengths-based practice (a video lecture)

An introductory lecture on strengths-based practice I prepared for students in a course on engaging families and communities. In it I outline 8 principles of strengths-based practice. Continue reading

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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

Strengths-based practice fundamentally challenges traditional approaches to power relationships in working with individuals, families and communities. Rather than operating from a position of power-over, strengths-based practice requires us to critically reflect on the dynamics of power in our relationships and to focus on power-with and power-to, and to nurture power-within. 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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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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Evidence-informed practice, evidence-based programs and measuring outcomes

This post is based on a workshop on evidence-informed practice, evidence-based programs and measuring outcomes that Alan Hayes, Jamin Day and I facilitated for the Combined Upper Hunter Interagencies. The slides from the workshop are above or you can download … Continue reading

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