ABCD Approach – Change Comes From Within


Dorcas Aid Ukraine has organized a training on the ABCD approach for the members of the UKJR Consortium, which consists of SOS CV, Tdh and Dorcas as the lead.

ABCD stands for Asset Based Community-led Development, which motivates people to look at the resources they have in themselves and in their community, instead of focusing mainly on the needs and the lacks (the later one is called the needs bases approach). “The change comes from within” is one of the principles of the ABCD approach. It is essential to look at what the people and the communities already have, to use it and strengthen the community.

ABCD approach sees 6 types of assets: social, natural, physical, financial, human and institutional. These assets can be of individual people, as well as the community as a whole.

Dorcas uses the ABCD approach in multiple of its projects. It is applied in the Food Security Livelihoods project as part of the Livelihood grants: the people are encouraged to see what agricultural knowledge and facilities they already have that they can use the grants to develop them. Additionally, the communities as a whole are motivated in different trainings and social media groups to share their knowledge with each other, and in this way strengthen their communities.

Furthermore, by organizing self-help groups in five different locations in Donetsk region, which are being co-led by local volunteers, the local population is learning to become self-resilient, by taking the initiative to gather the communities together, discuss topics that are relevant to that specific community, and create a greater sense of community support.

Another group of projects in which Dorcas uses the ABCD approach are the Community Safety Nets.  These projects focus on supporting vulnerable elderly people. Where needed basic needs of elderly are provided for, but at all times the community is encouraged to use their resources and talents to support and include elderly. Elderly people are also encouraged to use their talents (knitting, embroidery, etc.) to generate income by selling their works at for example the national family day celebration festival which will take place on 1st of June. The elderly also created their “Nordic walking club”, they gather every Thursday for physical activities and personal encouragement. This way they increase their sense of community, are in good company instead of being alone at home, and improve their health by regularly exercising.

Although it is easier to see the needs of people when entering a developing community, instead of looking at the resources they already have. However, once you change your focus to first see the opportunities in people and in the community, then you can really help communities to become self-sufficient and the people resilient.

02 May 2019