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.
This article provides an overview of this process and links to more resources. Abundant Community Initiative in Edmonton, Canada began in January 2013. Howard Lawrence 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.
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?”
This publication clarifies the difference between an association and institution, and the different key roles each has in Asset-Based Community Development.
As more collective impact initiatives are launched around the world, many participants are realizing that effective collective impact will not simply occur through better coordination of services, whether this is done by one organization or even a multitude of organizations.
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 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.)
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.
A recent guide written by Julie Filapek and John McKnight helps to identify neighbourhood educational assets with young people. This guide has tools and recommendations to help groups to learn about the skills, knowledge and experiences that the community has and how to connect them to young people.
This toolkit by ABCD Faculty Member Dan Duncan, explores how we work differently with neighbourhoods and residents.
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 to establish a micro-economy within their local area using people as their major resource. Learn 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 list displays a variety of questions you can ask residents to find out what assets are present in the neighbourhood.
—Vickie Cammack, Canadian Social Innovator and co-founder of PLAN