Every forth Friday of the month I host a Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) activity which provides people an opportunity to experience and explore its application for their own community.
Faith in Action is an initiative of Uniting Communities which wants to see churches and NGOs draw on Asset Based Community Development principles to strengthening the community and ensure all its members have an opportunity to participate and flourish.
This month’s activity was an asset mapping exercise where we aimed to;
- provide participants with an enjoyable Asset Mapping experience
- have participants leave with the resources they need to host their own asset mapping exercise.
- provide participants with an opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of asset mapping
- provide participants with a discussion about the principles which lie beneath the Asset Mapping tool and which make for good community development practice.
Four participants gathered from 1pm for the preparatory work. We had fifteen participants, two thirds who were new, gather at 2pm for the activity. We had five apologies from previous participants.
Participants enjoyed the process and the feedback was positive. We generated some good ideas and provided people with a chance to move to the topics people wanted to discuss.
There was a conversation about whether you need to start with ‘the end in mind’ / ‘target group in mind’. Some wanted to start with the needs of a target group and not just what people wanted to do. Others thought that this would be too limiting and was not the ethos of community development.
There was some bumpiness around the decision making process, as we were running out of time and I facilitated a quick open space methodology.
We need to do some open space work with the group to provide participants with some decision making tools, as well as generative tools.
Joanna has described this event in her blog http://joannahubbard.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/opening-the-space/