From clients to citizens: asset-based community development as a strategy for community-driven development

In this paper, Asset-based Community Development (ABCD) is presented as an alternative to needs-based approaches to development. Following an overview of the principles and practice of ABCD, four major elements of ABCD are examined in light of the current literature on relevant research and practice. This involves exploring the theory and practice of appreciative inquiry; the concept of social capital as an asset for community development; the theory of community economic development; and lessons learned from the links between participatory development, citizenship, and civil society. The paper outlines how ABCD both reflects and integrates trends in these areas, and stands to benefit from the insights generated from this work.