Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) underpins all our work.
What is Asset Based Community Development?
Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is a different and powerful approach to developing communities and the people in them. It focuses on the assets within communities, rather than what’s missing as a basis for development.
These assets can include:
The skills of local residents
The power of local community groups and associations
The resources of organisations and institutions
Buildings for community use
The local history and culture of a neighbourhood
Asset Based Community Development looks to support what organisations already do and build capacity through working to strengths, engaging volunteers, sharing resources and working in partnerships. It’s also about celebrating achievements and supporting individuals to become self reliant and self supporting rather than dependent on services.
Asset Based Community Development is an exciting and dynamic tool that will help any organisation to strengthen:
its own organisation – by enhancing connection with the community’s assets
the community – by investing in the community’s assets
current and future community-based projects, activities and proposals
An asset approach starts by asking questions and reflecting on what is already present:
What make us strong?
What factors make us more able to cope in times of stress?
What makes this a good place to be?
What does the community do to improve?
The ABCD approach was developed in the early 90’s in Chicago, USA by John McKnight and John Kretzman of the University of Illinois.
How do I do it?
The following links provide useful tools in undertaking ABCD with your organisation:
Since 2009, NHS Central Lancashire has supported West Lancs CVS to deliver training in Asset Based Comunnity Development (ABCD). The CVS has also developed a framework which can be used to build communities and to use the approach within your group.
The process has included setting up West Lancashire ABCD Working Group, and undertaking Community Asset Mapping, as well as developing specific ABCD projects such as Positive Prevention Project and Best Foot Forward (children’s ABCD project).
A B C D in West Lancashire
Click here for the story of ABCD in West Lancashire to date
Click here for details of West Lancashire ABCD Working Group, set up to promote the use of asset based approaches in West Lancashire and develop partnership projects using the approach.
Community Asset Mapping
Click here for details of two asset mapping exercises developed in West Lancs. They show different ways of collecting information.
Click here for Community Mapping undertaken in Avenham, Preston. West Lancs CVS supported one of its West Lancs member groups to carry out an asset mapping exercise in Avenham. The mapping focused on individuals in the community, their skills and gifts as well as the things they were passionate about in their own community.
Asset Based Projects
Click here for Little Digmoor Fair Shares Trust – a local regeneration project harnessing skills of local residents.
Click here for Best Foot Forward – a children’s ABCD project developed with the West Lancashire Children’s Trust.
Click here for Red Rose Recovery – an asset based project promoting resilience among the recovery community (those in recovery from addiction, and their families and networks)