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MIS211 – Asset Based Community Development

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Lessons: 11 weeks   Effort: 3-4 hours/week   Level: Intermediate



Asset Based Community Driven Development provides community development lessons for a rural and urban African setting. Participants will learn: a brief history of development efforts in Africa, a Biblical basis for engaging in poverty alleviation and community development, and useful paradigms for engaging poverty in an urban and rural setting.  

Beyond the theory students will be equipped with practical skills for assessing community assets so that assets and gifts from within the community can be mobilised towards development. Students will also be equipped with simple and effective project planning and evaluation skills.


This course is split into weekly readings.  You will have 12 weeks to complete your readings after which you will be given your assignment. Your assignment will count for 70% of your module grade. At the end of the semester you will sit your exam for this module which will count as 30% of your module grade.


MIS211 – Week 1 – The Bible, Mission and Poverty (edit)

As we enter new communities in an effort to spread the gospel we will inevitably come across individuals and communities in need of our aid. Jesus announced that he came for the sick, for it is they who need a doctor. As image bearers of Christ in communities we come with good news. That good [...]

MIS211 – Week 2 – Needs Based vs Asset Based (edit)

As seen in last week’s lesson we know it is part of our duty as image bearers of Christ to bring healing and restoration to communities. In this course we are more concerned with practical approaches than we are with the theories. When we embark on development activities it is common for us to enter [...]

MIS211 – Week 3 – Community Engagement and Participation (edit)

One of the most important principles in ABCD training is the reliance on local participation in development projects. The history of development is full of examples where development is initiated and completed by outsiders without significant involvement from the community. History proves that these approaches result in lack of ownership by the community. The local [...]

MIS211 – Week 4 – ABCD Principles and Case Studies (edit)

Students should now have a basic understanding for what ABCD entails. This week will act as a recap on previous weeks teachings. Students will recount principles used in ABCD training and explain their meaning and implications. In class we will also look at some case studies from around the world where ABCD methods have helped [...]

MIS211 – Week 5 – Storytelling and Interviews (edit)

ABCD is more than just a list of principles, it is a paradigm - a way we can think about the our world, our communities and our families. ABCD starts with the realisation that no matter what we have we have something. We are experts of our own communities and by working together with our [...]

MIS211 – Week 6 – Natural and Physical Assets (edit)

This week we start to map the assets we have discussed in previous weeks. We start with natural and physical assets. Natural assets are features of the land that may prove useful for future projects: farmland, grazing land, rivers, mountains, plains e.t.c. Physical assets are manmade constructs that might be useful to future projects e.g. [...]

MIS211 – Week 7 – Personal and Economic Assets (edit)

This week we will continue to introduce assets that we need to map. Personal assets are the gifts and skills of individuals. Nobody has nothing, everyone has something they can give. Here we introduce ways we can record the gifts and skills of individuals. We will talk about this importance of this activity and it’s [...]

MIS211 – Week 8 – Associations and Institutions (edit)

This week we focus on mapping associations and institutions that are in or affect our community. By gaining an understanding for the roles and benefits of institutions we can learn to mobilize these assets towards future projects. Associations can play a key role in implementing and maintaining projects but only when the projects serve similar [...]

MIS211 – Week 9 – Mobilizing Assets (edit)

Now that we have mapped the most important assets in a community we should begin to identify opportunities that exist. An understanding of a community's assets will also help to identify gaps, what the community lacks. Assets can be linked and mobilized. You might realise that you have a vacant building about the right size [...]

MIS211 – Week 10 – Planning & Evaluation (edit)

This week we begin with projects. After identifying opportunities and linking your most obvious assets you will need to start implementing projects that will bring development to the community. This week we learn how to effectively plan for a project's implementation. Planning must be detailed and accurate as it will serve as a first step [...]

MIS211 – Week 11 – Project Leadership (edit)

A Community Development worker is not always front and center. Development leaders inspire, cast vision, organise and monitor. Above all community workers facilitate. To be an effective facilitator you must develop a specific set of skills; these skills focus on developing the skills of others by encouraging their activity and growth. This week students will learn [...]