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"Asset-based Community Development"

Independent Study: Organizational Topic Exploration, University of Miami, Fall 2013, EPS 644

Naomi Ross

on 9 September 2014

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Transcript of "Asset-based Community Development"

Intro to
Asset-based Community Development

design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
What does it mean?
Where does it come from?
Needs-driven vs. Capacity-focused
Harnessing the power of Individuals, local Associations, Institutions, & more
How can I learn more?
The following sites contain a great variety of resources on the topic of asset-based community development:
Naomi Ross - University of Miami - Fall 2013

An important lesson on perspective
Negative impacts of traditional "Needs" map
Positive effects of alternative "Assets" map

Kretzmann, J., & McKnight, J. (1993).
Building Communities from the Inside Out: A
Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets
. Skokie, IL: ACTA Publications.

Kretzmann, J., & McKnight, J. (2005).
Discovering Community Power; A Guide to
Mobilizing Local Assets and Your Organization’s Capacity
. Evanston, IL: ABCD Institute.


Sihlongonyane, Mfaniseni F. (2009). 'Community Development' as a Buzz-Word.
Development in Practice, 19
(2), 136-147.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, the best definition of (noun) in this case is: a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality.
The following excerpt comes from a journal article which breaks down the evolution of the term
: “Community development (CD) emerged as a buzz-word in the 1960s, to become 'self-help' and 'people power' in the 1970s, 'community participation' in the 1980s, and 'local economic development' in the 1990s. As a catchphrase, together with its sister variations such as grassroots development, community work, community action, etc., it has become … a mutating set of metaphors that mean different things to different people.” (Sihlongonyane, 2009)
In 1993, two professors from Northwestern University – John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight – created a guidebook titled
Building Communities from the Inside Out
, which identified and named the community-building phenomena they’d observed as researchers for many years:
asset-based community development
. That spurred the transformation of Northwestern’s community studies program into the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, and over the past couple of decades it has developed many practitioners, workbooks, and related publications.
In 1995, a series of videos was produced as a training program on the concept of “asset-based community development.” Segment 2 includes a brief explanation of the glass half-empty/full analogy, which is one of the simplest ways to describe how ABCD is a different way to look at community-based work. So now, take a step back in time and please watch the clip between the
One of the most devastating consequences is that community residents begin to accept this map as the only guide to the reality of their lives
A range of problems are typically accepted as the whole truth about troubled neighborhoods, and media outlets exacerbate this by consistently sharing the most violent and problematic stories with the masses
Ends up determining
how problems are to be addressed, which often leads to the implementation of deficiency-oriented policies and programs
Public, private and nonprofit human service systems are often supported by university research, much of which is designed to collect and analyze data about problems, as well as foundation funding, much of which is based on the problem-oriented data collected in "needs surveys," a practice emulated by government human service agencies
Programs include local activities that teach people the nature and extent of their problems, and the value of services as the answer to those problems; as a result, many lower income urban neighborhoods are now environments of service where behaviors are affected because residents come to believe that their well-being depends upon being a client
People begin to see themselves as having special needs that can only be met by outsiders, ultimately becoming consumers of services who focus vast amounts of creativity and intelligence on the survival-motivated challenge of outwitting the "system," or on finding ways – in the informal or even illegal economy – to bypass the system entirely
In a community whose assets are being fully recognized and mobilized, people will be part of the action, not as clients or recipients of aid, but as full contributors to the community-building process
Significant community development takes place only when local community people are committed to investing themselves and their resources in the effort
Neighborhood regeneration is possible when all of the available local assets are located and connected with one another in ways that multiply their power and effectiveness
Acknowledging that even the poorest neighborhood is a place where individuals and organizations represent resources upon which to rebuild
Leads toward the development of policies and activities based on the capacities, skills and assets of lower income people and their neighborhoods
www.soulofamerica.com/content/images/ 69ab2bcdde288416568ddfe3cb425811.jpg
Examples of Assets
in a Community
Categories of Community-based Assets

Local residents (
): their skills, experiences, passions, capacities and willingness to contribute to the project. Special attention is paid to residents who are sometimes “marginalized.”

Local voluntary
, clubs, and networks: e.g. all of the athletic, cultural, social, faith-based, etc. groups powered by volunteer members, which might contribute to the project.

: e.g. public institutions such as schools, libraries, parks, police stations, etc., along with local businesses and nonprofits, which might contribute to the project.

assets: e.g. the land, the buildings, the infrastructure, transportation, etc. which might contribute to the project.

assets: e.g. what people produce and consume, businesses, informal economic exchanges, barter relationships, etc.



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