Community Development Workshops

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is an approach to sustainable community-driven development. It is a methodology for the sustainable development of communities based on their strengths and potential. Asset Based Community Development’s premise is that communities can drive the development process by identifying and mobilizing existing, but often unrecognised assets and thereby responding to and creating local economic opportunity.


This is a five-day workshop for maximum impact. It can be made shorter if requested by the client, but some of the impact will be lost.


ABCD has three very specific outcomes:

1) Creation of ABCD projects and initiatives. This can be businesses on a small scale e.g., bakeries,
vegetable gardens, community crèche (not an official ECD centre), hairdresser, etc.

2) Creation of ABCD projects that leads to small businesses. This has the potential to further grow
into SMMEs, Enterprise Development and the possibility to flow into a Supply Chain. It is crucial
to identify businesses that can support the community but also contribute to the needs of the
communities. The businesses should link to the Route to Market. E.g., start a truck washing
business near the silos as an example.

3) Active citizenship emphasises that community members can organise to drive the development
process themselves by identifying and mobilising existing (and often unidentified) assets thereby
responding to and creating local economic opportunities. It results in accountability.

A social mobilisation programme enhances community relations and shifts perceptions in the
community audience. The most exciting outcome is the empowerment in the communities. The
community members participate in, and take responsibility for, developing their own assets.


Our workshops can be described as enterTRainment – Education with a lot of entertainment. When education adults the workshops should be conducted in a fun way with various games and activities
to illustrate the outcomes. This is a good way of learning but more important to remember the
content. The outline of the workshop is:

Day 1:

– Welcome
– What is ABCD? Unpacking of the definitions and creating joint understanding
– Needs and Assets – Glass half full and half empty and the accompanying attitudes.
– Power of perspectives – How do we use words, our senses and inference to come to conclusions.
– Understanding the types of poverty
– Distribution of resources

Day 2:

– Identifying the types of power
– Recognising the levels of engagement with communities, governments and donors
– Circle of influence – What are those issues you can do something about?
– Identifying the types of assets: Natural, social, financial, physical and human.
– Sharing case studies around the world
– Appreciative enquiry as a tool to create positivity and optimism

Day 3:

– Activity – Community and asset mapping to identify all the assets in a community.

Day 4:

– Leaky bucket (budgeting) – how to work out a budget and looking at the income of a community.
– Linking, mobilising, and organising for immediate action
– Compiling basic action plans to get projects started.
– Discussing what is an effective community?

Day 5:

– Present action plans
– Evaluation