Asset Based Community Development builds on the assets that are found in the community
and mobilizes individuals, associations, and institutions to come together to realize and
develop their strengths (Nurture Development, 2016). This approach finds the positive in
any community that is undeserving and ruined with poverty. I do believe it is realistic to
think that poor communities do have existing assets that can help them grow economically.
These communities are often overlooked so their potential is overlooked as well. This
approach brings people that live in the community together whom have similar interests or
skills to work on one goal to uplift and change their community. These changes can be
brought about with not only the people of the community, but local organizations,
government institutions, and faith based organizations also. Community engagement may
involve both direct and indirect pathways to reduce health inequalities (Agdal, 2019). Such
approaches have been found to be effective in reducing inequalities in health, and a review
suggests that public health initiatives should incorporate community engagement
approaches into intervention design (O’Mara-Eves, 2013). According to Agdal (2019), the
dependence on external facilitators will, however, make the projects vulnerable, as other
projects, although the bottom-up approach is a fundament for the facilitator to lead by
stepping back. The community could become dependent on outside sources to sustain its
growth. Funding and obtaining sponsors is another challenge present with implementing
the ABCD approach. Obtaining participants is also another challenge faced with this
approach. That’s why having strong community leaders is critical in order to be successful.
The ABCD approach is a great way for individuals to see their own potential that they
weren’t aware of themselves. The community and the people can grow and sustain a better
quality of lives for them and their future.
Agdal, R., Midtgård, I. H., & Meidell, V. (2019). Can Asset-Based Community
Development with Children and Youth Enhance the Level of Participation in Health
Promotion Projects? A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis. International journal of environmental
research and public health, 16(19), 3778.
Response to – ABCD Approach
RESPONSE TO DEJA CLARK 2
I concur with Deja Clark that community engagement interventions such as the Asset-based
Community Development (ABCD) approach are effective across various contexts and through
the use of different mechanisms. In addition to mobilizing the community members, the ABCD
approach focuses on the identification of the positive elements of the people and their ways of
life. It illuminates them to serve as guiding strategies and pillars. Thus, the notion that poor
communities have existing and untapped assets that can lead to economic development becomes
a reality. Adopting the ABCD approach as a community engagement intervention is thus
associated with significant benefits that include the accentuation of the underlying benefits
among the people and the determination of the paths that can be followed to attain economic
growth (Agdal, Midtgård, & Meidell, 2019).
Similarly, the ABCD approach would facilitate the identification of fundamental assets
that include individuals with different skills, talents, and abilities, thereby ensuring the
sustainability of the progress made and the maintenance of quality lives among the community
members. Conversely and as highlighted by Deja Clark, the effectiveness of the ABCD approach
in mobilizing communities for development may be hindered by the reliance on external
facilitators. They would increase the vulnerability of the various projects to failure. Additionally,
overreliance on foreign investors, sponsors, and external funds would compromise community
members’ ability to determine their potential (Agdal, Midtgård, & Meidell, 2019).
RESPONSE TO DEJA CLARK 3
Agdal, R., Midtgård, I. H., & Meidell, V. (2019). Can asset-based community development with
children and youth enhance the level of participation in health promotion projects? A
qualitative meta-synthesis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public
Health, 16(19), 3778.