Asset-Based and Citizen-led Development

Asset-Based and Citizen-Led Development

Applications for this program are closed. Please check back for future offerings.

Over the past year, we have witnessed undisputable evidence of the importance of local responses to crises and opportunities. The world over, citizen-led initiatives based on communities identifying and mobilizing local assets have proven to be more relevant, speedy, and effective than institutional responses to the pandemic, and yet they are often sidelined as “secondary” or “nice to have.”

This course is a global space for sharing and learning about the principles, practices, and tools that put local assets and action at the centre any development initiative. It offers a “time-out” for you to question conventional community development practices and beliefs and to re-evaluate the role of institutions in stimulating and supporting genuine asset-based and citizen-led development (ABCD).

Benefits and Learning Objectives

During this course, you will:

  • Differentiate between needs-based and asset-based approaches to development.
  • Reclaim and revalue the overlooked assets of local citizens in your work and life.
  • Learn from international examples of successful community-driven responses to crises and opportunities.
  • Practice participatory and experiential tools and methods for uncovering community assets and strengths.
  • Problematize the role of outside institutions in responding to citizen-led development, including NGOs, donors, and government agencies.
  • Unpack the critiques of asset-based approaches.
  • Design a concrete plan of action.
  • Share training and facilitation tips for integrating ABCD principles and practices into your life and work.

Time Requirement

This course runs for eight weeks. As a participant, you will be expected to spend eight hours per week attending live classes, participating in online discussion forums, and reading, reflecting, and completing assignments independently. While they are not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged that you attend the live discussions. All instructional materials will be in English.

The live discussions will take place from 1:00pm – 3:00pm Universal Time (UTC) every Thursday. (Check your time conversion here).

Technology Requirement

  • Reliable internet access (high speed is recommended)
  • Speakers and microphone

Who Should Apply?

This course is intended for change-makers of any age or sector who are questioning the relevance of externally-driven projects and programs based predominantly on needs and deficits. You are a good candidate if you want to be exposed to, and jointly contribute to, practical alternatives that start with community strengths. This includes community-builders, government agencies, NGOs, universities, and grant-making organizations.