Asset-Based and Citizen-Led Development (ABCD)

May 13 – May 24, 2019

Application Closed

This course is built on lessons learned from communities around the world that are driving and sustaining their own development. The course also draws from almost two decades of action-research by organizations using an ABCD approach to stimulate and support citizen-led and community-driven development. Rather than starting with needs and deficits, the ABCD approach helps communities to identify and build upon their existing strengths and assets before looking outside for resources. This course will introduce participants to ABCD principles, methods, and tools. It will also explore how organizations can respond to citizen-led initiatives at the community level.

Personal benefits

  • Learn the theory and principles behind citizen-led and asset-based approaches;
  • Discover how to integrate citizen-led and asset-based principles into the work of your organization;
  • Understand strategies for allowing citizen-led initiatives to proliferate and scale-up through multi-stakeholder platforms.

Organizational benefits

  • Develop strategies to shift from a needs-based or problem-solving approach, to one that uses the existing strengths and capacities of communities as the starting point for the design of your programs, policies, and practices;
  • Develop ways to ‘responsively invest’ in what groups of citizens and communities are doing for themselves.

Who should take the program?

This program is designed for change leaders interested in community-driven development. The types of organizations people interested in this course often identify themselves as being from include: local, state, or national government departments as well as NGOs, community foundations, corporate social investment departments, or universities.


Most qualified candidates receive a bursary to assist with program costs. Those receiving a bursary are responsible for fees payable of at least $2,300 CAD for fall programs.

Please note that Coady International Institute does not accept third party applications. Individuals need to submit their application via Coady’s website and should use caution when approached by those offering services to complete the application and admissions process.

Click here for fees.

Related programs offered at Coady

  • Social Enterprise for Inclusive Local Economies
  • Diploma in Development Leadership