Mapping Community Strengths and Assets
Taking a strengths-based approach is one of the core principles of community-led development. This resource describes how to take a strength- or asset-based approach and is a useful tool to help explore and capture the gifts, talents and strengths in your community.
Appreciative Inquiry – A Model for Approaching Change
The Appreciative Inquiry model (sourced from here) helps us plan a practical pathway through what is never a totally straightforward process.
In reality we keep looping around these steps (and some side paths too). It’s never as neat and tidy as it looks on the diagram, but each of the appreciative inquiry models are useful aspects of our CLD work.
Here are each of the stages, with links to some helpful tools.
DEFINITION is about deciding on your focus. What do you need to know or do? Why? Community-led development starts with getting to know our community better, finding community strengths and assets, and weaving these in with particular relationships that support community-led action.
DISCOVERY is about having lots of conversations to tap into community wisdom about past successes and to begin discussions about dreams.
DREAM is about imagining new possibilities and aspirations for the future. We ask powerful questions and reach out to a diversity of people in fun creative ways to have lots of conversations and listen carefully.
In the DESIGN and DELIVERY phases we are typically thinking about three things:
- What have we heard? We identify key themes from community feedback about the community’s past strengths, current energy, challenges and future dreams.
- So what does this mean for where we are heading? We build a shared understanding of the overall picture of the different messages and voices we’ve heard.
- Now what? We might have a community party/hui/gathering to shape a shared vision and agree what actions could happen next.
At every step we are seeking to work with people to design future pathways and actions together. It’s really important to be clear about who has the decision making power and the ability to take action in each situation. Ideally, power is shared and there is scope for everyone to be a leader.