Asset-based community-driven development (ABCD), or just asset-based community development, is a bottom-up way of working with communities that focuses on community strengths and assets. In another post I spoke about two communities. One was a ‘community in crisis’; the other was one with strong community relationships and bonds. Of course these two communities were the same community – it all depends on what we decide to focus on.

If we ask people to look for deficits, they will usually find them, and their view of situations will be coloured by this. If we ask people to look for successes, they will usually find them, and their view of situations will be coloured by this (Kral, 1989).

GlassABCD focuses on the half full glass. The half empty glass represents the notion that communities are deficient and have needs. The half full glass represents the notion that communities (and the people who live there) have many strengths, capacities and assets. It is the half full glass that gives us something to work with.

ABCD is built on four foundations (Kretzmann, 2010; Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993; Mathie & Cunningham, 2003):

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’ (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993)

It is relationship driven.

via What is asset-based community-driven development (ABCD)? | Sustaining Community Engagement.

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