Asset-Based and Community-Led Development Principles


January 15 – March 3, 2024

Applications open soon!

Facilitator: Wellington Sousa

This 6-week online certificate introduces you to fundamental Asset-Based and Community-Led Development (ABCD) theories and principles. You will learn tools to support communities to organize themselves to discover, connect and mobilize their strengths for change. In addition, you will be able to reflect on the outside institutions’ role in supporting community development projects to avoid dependency and foster sustainable community development projects.

Course Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss fundamental Asset-based and Community-Led Development theories and principles.
  • Apply participatory methods to discover, connect and mobilize community assets.
  • Give insights on how outside institutions can support Asset-Based and Community-Led Development projects.
  • Examine limitations and critiques of ABCD and explore ways ABCD can strengthen other approaches to change (e.g., rights-based approach).

Time Requirement

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

The live learning sessions will take place from 17:00 – 19:00 Universal Time (UTC) on Thursdays, between January 15 – March 3, 2024.

Technology Requirement

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

Who Should Apply?

This course is for change-makers of any age or sector questioning the relevance of projects and programs driven by external organizations and focused on communities’ needs and deficits. This includes community builders, government agencies, NGOs, universities, and grant-making organizations. You are a good candidate if you are passionate about seeing communities flourishing and moving towards the fullness of their potential, be curious about how ABCD can strengthen your work, and strive to apply the approach after the course.


Tuition Fees for the course are $1,500CAD. Coady Institute strives to ensure that participants working with marginalized communities around the world have access to its courses. This is made possible through the provision of bursaries that are funded by many individual and institutional donors of the International Centre for Women’s Leadership. Partial bursaries of $1,100CAD are available for international candidates. Those receiving a bursary will be responsible for paying the balance before the designated deadline. Full bursaries are available for First Nations, Métis and Inuit women residing in Canada as well as women from African Nova Scotian communities.

This course is online. You will need a computer or laptop, reliable internet access (high speed is recommended), speakers and microphone.