The focus of our community development approach aims to answer one seemingly simple, yet life-altering question:
“What will I do, with what I have, internally and externally, in order to flourish?”
In order to do this we look at what is already there – we look at the glass-half full.
Asset-Focused Development (AFD) is a methodology that seeks to uncover and utilize the strengths within communities as a means of sustainable development. It is at the center of a large and growing movement that considers local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development.
In the process of identifying and reclaiming a community’s assets, an important new awareness is built around the possibility of the community taking ownership of its own future. It is a bottom-up methodology that seeks to uncover and utilize the strengths within communities, rather than the deficits and problems.
Focusing on assets and resources, not only opens the minds of people to opportunities, but it also creates positive attitudes towards expectations of outside interventions.
Winning communities are made up of individuals and entities using and mobilizing assets to address challenges, rather than needs-driven,
disempowered people, to wait for solutions from outside of themselves and their external environment.
Asset-Focused Development (AFD) was developed by McKnight and Kretzmann (1993) in “Building Communities from the inside Out”. The approach was further developed and is now promoted across the globe by the COADY International Institute of St Xavier University in Canada.
In South Africa, AFD is promoted in collaboration with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and is also implemented by the Department of Social Development in order to assist communities and households with the development of sustainable livelihoods.