ASSET BASED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (ABCD). by Peter Kenyon Director Bank of IDEAS (Initiatives for the Development of Enterprising Action and Strategies) 14 BIRD ROAD KALAMUNDA WA 6957 Phone: 08 6293 1848 Fax: 08 6293 1137 email: p k @bankofideas.com.au
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by Peter Kenyon
Bank of IDEAS
(Initiatives for the Development of Enterprising
Action and Strategies)
14 BIRD ROAD
KALAMUNDA WA 6957
Phone: 08 6293 1848
Fax: 08 6293 1137
email: pk @bankofideas.com.au
capacities, abilities and gifts.
Living a good life depends
on whether those capacities
can be used, abilities
expressed and gifts given‘
(John Mcknight and John Kretzman)
‘The strength of a community is directly proportional to the number of people who contribute their abilities to the well-being of the community’
Communities and it’s
citizens have capacities
EARLY SCHOOL LEAVERS
GIFTS OF INDIVIDUALS
Top down, outside in Inside out
Deficiencies, needs Assets, opportunities
Disabilities Abilities, capacities
Silo provision Collaboration
Consumers of services Producers of services
Dependence on outside Importance of
Professional’s community initiative
AI is a reaction to problem based and deficiency focused change
methodologies. It is the cooperative search for the best in people,
their organisations and their community. It involves systematic
discovery of what has happened in the past, and what gives a
person, an organisation or community ‘life’ when most effective
AI involves the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen
capacity to heighten positive potential. It mobilises inquiry through
crafting ‘unconditional positive questions’ that lead to sharing
best practices, magic moments and life giving experiences. In AI,
intervention leads to imagination and innovation.
AI assumes that people, organisations and / or community has
untapped, rich and inspiring accounts of the positive. When this
‘positive change core’ is directly linked to change agenda,
AI believes that changes never thought possible are suddenly and
democratically mobilised. AI generates hope, optimism
and energy – powerful forces for change.
and gives life to the community and it’s members – instead of
working from a problem solving and deficiency paradigm.
People can plan best using the best of what has worked in the past.
story telling, testimonials and large group forums,
images enhance community’s performance and personal
motivation. Where images are depressed or deficient, morale
tends to be low,
A1 generates conversations about what has worked, the good,
the better and the possible.
The elders in a village had failed time after time to resolve a difficult problem, and so they invited a very wise person from another village to come and help them solve their problem. And, in time, she came. And when the people gathered to hear her wisdom, the wise woman asked them: "Do you know what I'm going to tell you?" And the villagers shouted: "No! We don't know. We wouldn't be here if we knew." So the wise woman replied: "You will only learn what you already know. And if you don't know what I'm going to tell you, I'm leaving." She left. The village was in an uproar.
Months passed, and the problems didn't go away. The elders debated and planned, and finally they decided to issue a second invitation to the wise woman. And the wise woman returned, and once again she asked her question: "Do you know what I am going to tell you?" And this time they'd been thoroughly organized, and the villagers shouted in unison: "Yes!" They knew a trick question when they heard one. So the wise woman looked out at them and she said: "Well, if you already know, then I have nothing left to tell you" - and she left. And, once again, the village was in an uproar, and the discussions got more heated, and the meetings got longer.
Convinced the woman had something important to teach them, the villagers decided to ask her back for a third visit. This time they were terrifically organized, and she came, and once again she asked her question: "Do you know what I'm going to tell you?" And this time, in unison, half of the villagers shouted, "Yes!" And half of the villagers shouted, "No!" So the wise woman looked out and she said: "Now, will all of those who know what I'm going to tell you tell everybody who doesn't know- that way we'll all know." And she left ... and never came back again.
That night a wise leader of the village had a dream, which she reported to the gathered villagers the next morning. She said: "Last night a voice appeared to me in my dream and told me the meaning of the message from the wise woman." She said: "The wise woman has been trying to teach us that any really important knowledge is already here in our village - in our culture, in our traditions, and, most importantly, in our relationships with each other." She said: "We already know. The only thing we lack is the confidence to believe that we know."
Kretzman J. R and McKnight J. L (1993) Building Communities
From the Inside Out – A Path Toward Finding and Mobilising a
Community’s Assets, Chicago: The Asset Based Community Institute.
Snow L.(2001) The Organisation of Hope – A Workbook for Rural
Asset – Based Community Development, Chicago: The Asset - Based
Rons S. and Altman H. Asset – Based Strategies For Faith Communities, Chicago : The Asset – Based Community Development Institute.
Mellish E (2001) The Appreciative Series Chelmer: Mellish and
Annis S (2000), The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry, Planto:
Thin Book Publishing Co.
Annis S and Royal C (1998),Lessons From the Field: Applying Appreciative Inquiry, Planto, USA: Thin Publishing Co.