Assets Based Community Development or ABCD A Needs Map An Assets Map Local Assets Inventory A Portrait of Gifts Mobilizing Community Assets

An Assets Map

The assets of a community are all of the

  • strengths and capacities of its people
  • the networks of support that are formally and informally organized
  • the physical resources of business and infrastructure
  • the natural environment

Sometimes it is hard to see your everyday life and place as full of assets as we think this term refers only to money and capital investments. By brainstorming the assets of your community you are thinking about all the things that produce material, social and spiritual well-being.

Click here to access a blank map sheet.

An Assets Map for a Rural Community in Asia

An Exercise in Shifting Focus

This exercise can be done with groups of any size. You will need a way to record the brainstorm so everyone can see the entries. A facilitator will be needed to introduce each step.

  1. Brainstorm entries for a needs map.
  2. Brainstorm entries for an assets map.
  3. Reflect on which task was easier to do.
  4. Return to the assets map and add more entries. Be creative!
  5. Now take some time to compare the assets map with the needs map for your community.
  6. Which map has more entries?
  7. Reflect on the emotions and feelings that arise when you look at each map in turn.
  8. What actions are prompted by the needs map?
  9. What actions are prompted by the assets map?
  10. Discuss how a shift in focus from needs to assets might  help you take a leading part in local development.