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What is Asset-Based
Community Development (ABCD)?

ABCD is a community development theory and model of practice that:

  • Identifies and makes visible the health-enhancing assets in a community
  • Sees citizens and communities as co-producers of health and well-being, rather than the recipients of services
  • Promotes networks, relationships and friendships that can provide caring, mutual help and empowerment
  • Identifies what has potential to improve health and well-being
  • Supports individuals’ health and well-being through self- esteem, coping strategies, resilience skills, relationships, friendships, knowledge and personal resources
  • Empowers communities to control their futures and create tangible resources such as services, funds and buildings.

Our principal concerns in providing community engagement services based on ABCD are:

  • To facilitate recognition of community strengths, capacities and resources.
  • To mediate in affirmative, reflexive discussion of problems.
  • To build trust (between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’).
  • To motivate the community’s active engagement in their own interests.
  • To establish and maintain a transparent agenda.
  • To broker other external involvement.
  • To consult inclusively.
  • To translate messages accurately.