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Assest based approach to community development Free essay! Download now

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Assest based approach to community development

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 584 | Submitted: 29-Jan-2013
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the essay looks at how one would execute an assest based approach in a community learning and development context


Improving Community Well-Being – Using an Asset Based Approach

What is an Asset Based Approach?

The asset approach values the capacity skills, knowledge, ‘connections’ and potential in a community.

Definition of an Asset

The knowledge skills and capacity of local residents.
The passion and interest of local residents that gives them the energy for change.
The networks and connections – known as ‘social capital’ in a community involving friendships and neighbourliness.
The resources of public, private and voluntary sector organisations that are available to support a community.
The physical and economic resources of a place that enhance well-being.

Using an Asset Based Approach

An asset approach relies on the POSITIVE, the overall aim is to build a better balance between service delivery and community building. The approach avoids a deficit perspective which can focus on deficiencies and problems.

Building up local confidence and developing community empowerment.

When exploring and identifying the needs of a community, it is essential to assess what can be met by family and friends, those met through co-operation between services and community and those that any can be delivered through services.

Developing an Asset Based Approach

The development of an asset based approach requires:

Mapping the resources, skills and talents of individuals and communities.
Developing the links between the different parts of the community and its agencies.
Revitalising community relationships and mutual support to rediscover collective influence.
Training local community members to research the views, knowledge and experience of their neighbourhood.
Promoting the confidence and capacity of local people to better engage with agencies and service providers.

The Process

Asset mapping
Relationship Building
Vision – Options and Hopes
Motivation and Building Capacity
Mobilising of People and Resources

Asset Mapping Process


An asset based perspective emphasises the importance of gathering knowledge from and identifying the skills and talents of people within a community – this involves all age groups and those experiencing exclusion the most.


The places are physical assets such as community halls, meeting places and the services where people live or work.

Places and networks where people interact informally.

Partners and Collaborations

Local partnerships, connections that link the community and its members.

Groups, Organisations and Services

Community groups and services e.g. tenants and youth groups, local schools and churches.

Local Businesses


Activities that have meaning to people and groups within the community.

History and Heritage

Stories or sites of local significance that help communicate the lived experience of people.

An asset based approach starts by asking questions and reflecting on responses:

What makes us strong
What makes this place a good place to be
What can the community do to improve and build a sense of well-being

This means
Finding out about what is already working and do more of it.
Promoting what you are trying to achieve not what the problems are.
Valuing assets – as soon as people are talking to each other they are working on solutions.
Actively build capacity ...

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