How “Development” is Done: The ABCD Approach

By now, you’ve learned much about some of the essentials of community development—why communities are a good unit of focus, how poverty is properly defined and assessed, why trust and social capital are so fundamental, and how the pitfalls to participation can be avoided. But how does all this knowledge coalesce into a successful community development project? What steps should you take if you ever assist in planning or implementing such a project? While different development professionals would answer these questions differently, one increasingly well-known and overwhelmingly effective approach is called Asset-Based Community Development, or ABCD. Northwestern professors John (Jody) Kretzmann and John McKnight have been instrumental in popularizing the approach, and much of the following information comes from their research. As you complete this final course, see if you can draw connections between new material and that of previous modules. As always, when evaluating the suggestions of various experts in the field, think critically—Is this approach always going to be feasible? Can it be scaled-up without sacrificing quality? What are its greatest shortcomings? What are its greatest strengths?

This course freely and publicly available. It is also part of the Certificate in Community Development. Enroll in the Community Development Certificate Program Through Global Health University

Online Course