ABCD is an approach to community building that focuses on people and their gifts, their social relationships and associations first - before the physical infrastructure, programs and services offered. Here are some tools and resources to help you to apply and share these ideas with your family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues.
Howard Lawrence undertook a pilot project called the Abundant Community Initiative in Edmonton, Canada in January 2013. Howard started with the idea that local residents have gifts, skills, abilities and knowledge and that they are willing to contribute these assets to improving their neighbourhood. This article provides an overview of this process and links to more resources.
Learn about New Brunswick and how the province has been able to utilize asset-based approaches to poverty reduction. A recent case study highlights how the province was intentional at each step about employing an asset-based approach rather than the more predominant deficit model to the poverty reduction initiative.
In this paper by John McKnight and Cormac Russell, they discuss the four essential elements of ABCD in detail in an effort to answer the following question: “what is distinctive about an Asset-Based Community Development process?” Learn More.
This publication clarifies the difference between an association and institution, and the different key roles each has in Asset-Based Community Development. Learn More.
These ABCD publications are developed by the ABCD Institute, as well as individuals and groups within their network. Many are available for free download by clicking on the document title.
(These papers are copyrighted. You have the authors' permission to download and reproduce them for distribution; however, please include the title page to assure proper attribution.)
Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is about building community. Historically, we have looked at communities based on what they don’t have (asset stripping) instead of looking at the gifts that a community does have (glass half full). Cormac Russell discusses the eight touchstones to consider when community building.
These resources provide an introduction to asset mapping; a sample capacity inventory; and, a how-to for using the capacity inventory provide an overview for mapping community assets using a capacity inventory. Learn more.
In this well written and thought provoking publication, John McKnight examines the analogy of the "three-legged stool" to describe how business, government and civil society each play a role in upholding democratic processes. He proposes that in order to revitalize our democratic institutions, we must recognize a "fourth leg" of this stool- associational life. Learn more
This publication will give a brief introduction regarding the nature of Asset-Based Community Development and how it emerged. Of more relevance, John McKnight will reflect on how it has worked, the obstacles and what we have learned. Read more.
This list displays a variety of ways - some quick and some more involved - you can use knowledge of a person’s core gift to help them build internal resilience and healthy participation in their community. None of these activities is “better” or “more powerful” than any other item on the list. What looks useful to you? Learn more.
This four-part resource kit details the community partnering process used by the Latrobe City Council and Monash University in Australia who worked with people who have been marginalized and helped them build community-based projects. The kit includes documented examples of how positives can be found in negative situations, and can assist communities establish a micro-economy within their local area using people as their major resource. Learn more.
This practical guide to ABCD Community organizing, includes how to recognize people's gifts, connect neighbours, build associations and how these associations can help to weave strong social fabrics in communities and neighbourhoods. Learn more.
—Vickie Cammack, Canadian Social Innovator and co-founder of PLAN