Civic engagement involves making changes to the lives of individuals and their communities through cultivating knowledge, skills, values, and motivation. In order for a community to succeed, the people who are a part of it also need to be able to succeed. One way to help communities succeed is with the asset-based community development method. This strategy makes use of the resources and strengths already present within a community to help improve what may be lacking or what could use a little improvement, without adding additional costs associated with bringing in talent and resources.
An important step to getting involved with the ABCD method is to first assess what skills are available in the network of people. Any skills are welcome, be it gardening, website design, or working with children! Interests are also taken into consideration to find out where people might best apply their skills and knowledge. In the end, the ABCD method reveals hidden talents and skill sets that could be useful to community development. Through further investigating an individual’s skills, the ABCD method inspires people to help others and can even uncover skills a person may not realize he had!
Depending on the program, the ABCD method also uses time banks which allow neighbors to share their skills in exchange for another neighbor’s skill. This encourages more cooperation and networking between neighbors, further developing and involving the community as a whole.