‘Is the Glass Half Empty – or Half Full?’ This was the question posed by Cormac Russell, Managing Director of Nurture Development (Ireland) and Faculty Member of the Assets Based Community Development Institute (USA), when Adrian and I met with him in Dublin, this week.
For far too long creating positive change within communities has focused on the negatives and deficits of the area – the ‘what’s missing and what’s wrong – the glass half empty approach’! Our work, over many years and with a range of communities, has confirmed that local people don’t want to hear what’s wrong with where they live, they know the issues – it’s their home! What they want is their area to be the best it can be.
This made Adrian and I revisit our ABCD! With ABCD approaches community “mobilisers” start with what is already there and plan with communities how the benefits can be enhanced and shared by the communities. Surely this makes real sense – how can you begin to see what you need until you can see what you already have? This is the glass half full view!
This approach made me reflect on NHS commissioning and raises questions for GP commissioning consortia. How can they effectively commission if needs assessment is the only approach used? Do they have the skills to supplement needs assessment with assets audits and do they have the confidence and skills to effectively engage with their communities on assets based community development?
Comments are welcome and all of these questions can be answered by attending our University Accredited Engagement and Involvement courses .
Out and about in Dublin!