ABCD Global Consulting believes that asset-based
community development is the most effective approach to
poverty, climate change, violence, social disintegration
and the other major challenges found throughout the world.
Cormac Russell and
Ted Smeaton are
experienced change agents from three continents who use
the ABCD methodology to identify, connect and mobilise community
and agency resources in order to address these challenges
in ways that are bottom-up and citizen-driven. Through presentations,
workshops and technical assistance, we demonstrate how the
ABCD approach can multiply available resources and result
in actions that are culturally appropriate, broadly supported,
holistic and sustainable.
What is ABCD?
Asset-based community development is an approach
pioneered by John McKnight and John Kretzmann of the ABCD
Institute at Northwestern University in Chicago; the results
of their work now span the world. The traditional approach
to community development is to focus on a community’s needs
and to try to address those deficiencies with outside experts
and resources, a scenario that leads to greater dependency
and is not sustainable. The ABCD approach genuinely empowers
citizens and strengthens the effectiveness of government
and other agencies by drawing on the resources, abilities
and insights of local residents to solve their own problems.
Outside assistance is still needed, but genuine community
development must be citizen-led with external resources
acting in a support role.