ABCD Forum – Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mary Coyle, Coady International Institute, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada

As Director of the Coady Institute, Mary provides leadership to program and teaching staff, oversees the ongoing development of the Institute, builds the Coady’s financial base, strengthens its linkages with various constituencies, and engages in teaching and overseas activities. In her opening address, she welcomes participants to the newly opened Coady facilities on the occasion of The Coady International Institute’s 50 thanniversary.

Introduction to the Forum
Alison Mathie, Coady International Institute, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada

Alison Mathie has dedicated much of the last seven years to linking John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann’s ABCD work to international development work in sustainable livelihoods and evaluating the results through action research. Together with Gord Cunningham, she has taught courses in asset-based approaches to community development and forged partnerships with NGOs in Ethiopia, Philippines and Kenya that are interested in applying ABCD principles to community development practice. She is the co-editor (with Gord Cunningham) of From clients to citizens: Communities changing the course of their own development. In her introduction to the Forum, she lays out the purpose of this gathering and the opportunities for rich discussion and dialogue that such a diverse group offers.

Reflections on 40 years of Asset-Based Community Development
John McKnight, ABCD Institute, Northwestern University, USA

John McKnight is Co-Founder, Co-Director and Professor of Communications at the ABCD Institute, Northwestern University. He has partnered with Jody Kretzmann for nearly three decades on research on community organizations and neighbourhood policy. In his presentation, he discusses the limitations of institutions and the power of citizens and neighbourhoods to take back responsibility for seven critical domains of wellbeing: health, safety, economy, environment, food, children and elderly care.
Opening Remarks, July 8, 2009 (23K pdf)

Lessons learned from case studies in “From Clients to Citizens: Communities changing the course of their own development”
Gord Cunningham, Coady International Institute, Canada

In addition to his teaching and Assistant Director responsibilities, Gord has been involved in several collaborative action research initiatives in Ethiopia, Kenya and Vietnam exploring the application of ABCD approaches to community development. He is also the co-editor (with Alison Mathie) of a book entitledFrom Clients to Citizens: Communities changing the course of their own development. In his presentation, he traces the evolution of the ABCD approach at the Coady Institute to the principles of the Antigonish Movement: a cooperative movement in rural Nova Scotia that emerged under the leadership of Dr. Father Moses Coady during the 1930s and 40s. Based on the lessons learned from the 13 cases in their book, he also isolates the common factors that have contributed to examples of citizen-led development in places like Ecuador, India, South Africa and Canada.
Opening Remarks 23K (pdf)  

Public Event: Asset-Based Approaches Around the World

The Deepening of ABCD Geographically, Individually and Institutionally
Jody Kretzmann, ABCD Institute, USA

John Kretzmann (Jody) is Co-Director of the ABCD Institute, a research project of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. The Institute continues to build on the stories and methods about successful community building reported in his popular book Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets (with John L. McKnight.) In his presentation, Jody explores asset-based approaches as they expand geographically to the 30 countries present at the Forum; in the lives of all individuals (young, old, people with disabilities), and through major community-based institutions and sectors of society.
Panel Presentation, July 9, 2009 (45K pdf)

From Pre-Clients to Clients to Citizens
Aloysius Fernandez, Resettlement and Development Agency (MYRADA), India

Aloysius Fernandez is well-known for his work in India, developing the practice of Self Affinity Group (SAG)-bank linkages in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which helped to define the appropriate role of NGOs working in the microfinance sector. In his presentation, he discusses the use of an ABCD approach in the stratified Indian context (31 States, 1618 languages, 5400 castes, 6 major religions, 6 ethnic groups). He seeks to answer the question of how to apply a citizen-driven approach with populations that do not enjoy the rights of citizenship or often even the benefits of being clients.
Why It Is Not So Easy for the Poor to Become Citizens in India (88K pdf) A Case Study: ABCD in Ghana
Adisa Lansah Yakubu, Africa 2000 Network-Ghana

As Executive Director of Africa 2000 Network-Ghana, Adisa Yakubu places special emphasis on practically demonstrating policies that have positive impacts on the people with whom she is working and on supporting community-based groups in self-initiated activities. Her presentation provides an in-depth discussion of how the ABCD methodology has been applied in the Ghanaian context since 2004 as well as the results and lessons learned, particularly around the different local understandings of “assets”.

ABCD: Some Lessons from Down Under
Peter Kenyon, Bank of Ideas (Initiatives for the Development of Enterprising Action and Strategies), Australia

Peter Kenyon is a social entrepreneur and community enthusiast. Over the last two decades, he has worked with over 1000 communities throughout Australia and internationally, seeking to facilitate fresh and creative ways that stimulate community and economic renewal. He has authored 16 publications within the fields of community and economic development, youth policy development and youth enterprise. Through the use of inspiring quotations and community examples, his entertaining presentation highlights what he feels are the “8 key principles of effective ABCD.”
ABCD: Some Lessons from Down Under (13Mb)

Highlights, Insights and Challenges from Asset-Based and Citizen-Led Experiences

The following presentations emerged from the introductory discussion groups on Day 1 of the Forum.
Bernard Guri, Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development
COMPAS Africa: Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (1.73 Mb pdf)Chris Macoloo, World Neighbors, Kenya
Mobilizing Assets for Self Development: From Merry-Go-Rounds to Savings and Credit Organizations (34K pdf)

Dan Duncan, United Way/ABCD Institute, Northwestern University, USA
The ABCD Model: How to Unlock Gifts in a Community and Organization (474K pdf)
Development from the Inside Out (32K pdf)

Nguyen Duc Vinh, Rural Community Development Center, Vietnam
ABCD in Vietnam (1 Mb pdf)
Saleela Patkar, Consultant, India

Appreciative Inquiry with Organizations of the Poor (446K pdf)
Reflections on Appreciative Inquiry (50K pdf)