CR #6

What? What are the key characteristics of the ABCD model? How is it different from the CED model (what is the CED model?)?

The ABCD model consists of four major themes:

  • Constructing shared meaning: learning from the practice of appreciative inquiry
  • The potential of associations: learning from the literature on social capital
  • Recognising and developing economic capacity: lessons learned from community economic development theory
  • Learning about the distribution of power: linking citizenship, civil society, and participatory approaches to development

The first theme is focused on using important experiences and successes of an individual to promote positive change. The author notes that this is used because communities who have negatively internalized their structural issues can transform their thinking and actions into something positive. In using memory and imagination, the community can creatively work together to form a solution, or several if necessary. The second theme emphasizes the importance of the social capital, which is the relationships within the community that are viewed as assets. The aim is to bond social capital and bridge social capital in order for the community to work together as a unit. The third theme argues against the CED (community-driven economic development) model by saying that development is more than just the community’s economic development itself. The difference is that the ABCD model focuses on using the community as the main driving force for change as opposed to using outside forces to build up the community’s economic stability. Lastly, the fourth theme is about empowering the community itself in being able to advocate for themselves and to make positive changes in their community by themselves rather than being directed by an outside party.

So what? How does the design of Voces del Canal raise the voices of the community members? What seem to be the assets in the Canal community that were identified in the process?

The issue that the Canal community faced was that “many residents felt they were not heard or included by local agencies and organizations in the identification of the issues that most impacted their lives.” From an external perspective, the agencies and organizations involved weren’t providing what the residents needed and so change had to happen, and that change had to come from the residents themselves. The design also allowed for the community members to empower each other and themselves in advocating for what they needed rather than having another party speak on their behalf. Leaders from the community had stepped up to figure out root causes to the issues they had been facing, such as the lack of community space and the lack of after-school care programs for the children. The group also emphasized the struggles in the economy due to low-wage gaps and expensive healthcare. The assets of the Canal community are the strong bonds they had formed within the community itself. Another assets are the local organizations that are available for the Canal community.

Now what? Consider the community you work with: What are some assets in the community, especially things that are not identified as such? Who would you talk to in the community to find out more, both about the resources from within the community, and also what the real issues are that people in the community care about? What are some questions you plan to ask to get to those answers?

The assets in the CASA community specifically are the individuals involved with the child, such as foster parents/caregivers, social workers, therapists, etc. The other assets are the CASA office members, as they are the only other individuals who can know about details of the CASA child I am advocating for. The CASA office members also give us a packet of helpful information regarding our case when we receive our case file for our child.

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