Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD)

March 07, 2017

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) is at the center of a large and growing movement that considers local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development. Building on the skills of local residents, the power of local associations, and the supportive functions of local institutions, asset-based community development draws upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future.

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) is located at the Steans Center for Community-Based Service Learning at DePaul University. ABCD has a staff of three individuals, including the founders, John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann.

Currently involved in four broad types of community building work:
  • Building community capacity is at the heart of ABCD’s work. ABCD engages directly with community groups to support their asset-based community development efforts. The institute and its affiliated faculty also participate in an array of local, regional, and international conferences and workshops as keynote speakers, workshop and training facilitators, technical support providers, and learning participants.
  • Using a community-based participatory research approach, ABCD partners with community residents and other local entities to conduct research that helps prepare them to achieve their own community building objectives. ABCD also works with community groups, non-profits, and an array of other institutions to evaluate asset-based community development projects.
  • Working directly with students, faculty, and other organizations, ABCD contributes to the development of the next generation of engaged civic leaders and community builders.
  • Producing community building publications and other resources for practitioners and scholars in the community development field, ABCD contributes to a growing body of knowledge about the effectiveness of the asset-based approach to strengthening communities.
ABCD and its affiliated faculty have created a library of community building workbooks, published scholarly articles, books, and chapters oriented to an array of audiences, and developed training curricula and other materials associated with the asset-based community development approach. Additionally, ABCD has gathered community stories from many of its partners and feature them on this website as a resource from which other communities can learn. Finally, ABCD provides examples of asset-mapping tools so that community groups and organizations can borrow from the experiences of others doing asset-based community development work. ?

You are invited to learn about the institute and its work in the university and community context. We hope you will join us in building strong communities.

Learn more about ABCD here.
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