Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approaches and techniques

Course Category: DCT Webinars, Voluntary Sector and Governance, Health and Wellbeing, Community Development

Please note, this is an online course which will be held using Zoom software. 


  • £32.93*: Members of Devon Communities Together
  • £43.71*: Charities, Community Groups or Parish and Town Councils that are not members of Devon Community Together
  • £65.27*: Private Sector organisations and Statutory Local Authorities

*The discounted membership price on many of our training courses is one of a number of benefits provided to members of Devon Communities Together and is available to new and existing members. With annual membership starting from just £24 for individuals and small organisations, up to £50 for larger organisations, taking out a membership can be a great way to save money on your training needs. To find out more and join DCT today, call 01392 248919 or visit our membership page


With Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) being increasingly adopted by councils across the country, this course will explore ABCD in contrast to other methods of community development and how it can be a suitable method in the current economic, funding and political climates.

ABCD as an approach can seem, and feel ‘messy’ as it inherently involves community engagement and an openness to non-linear ways of working. This course will address this by outlining helpful values and attitudes, as well as practical boundaries and templates which can help make sense of, and plan around, the desires and strengths within a community.

The course will have an emphasis on practical exercises and skills to draw on participants’ experience in their own community to help illustrate discussions on principles. Participants will leave with practical ‘maps’ and action plans that explore their particular challenge/community. In addition, the simple practical exercises used can easily be taken outside of the training and applied in participant’s daily work.

To note: this course will not go into depth on legal models (such as community ownership), but helpful web links will be provided.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES (Learning objectives).

By the end of the training, participants will:

  1. Better understand common personality types and individual strengths valuable for your team.
  2. Better understand power and power dynamics and their relevance to the ABCD process.
  3. Explore moving from community-listening and asset mapping towards action, using decision making frameworks.
  4. Have considered their own next steps.

Additional Information

This course is intended as a follow up session to the introductory course (on the 22.10.20). In this follow up session we will explore the approach further through case studies, exercises and further discussion. We welcome participants not present on the 22nd, if you are already familiar with, and practicing basic principles of this method of working.

If you are attending both sessions, we will be able to take forward your activity from the first session. If you are joining this session please contact me ( upon booking with some indication of your project and experience.



Harry Bonnell

Harry is experienced facilitating a wide variety of multi-stakeholder, grass roots processes from single workshops through to extended consultation, engagement and project development. He has been working at Devon Communities together for over 2 years, having previously spent 3 years working in a North London neighbourhood developing grassroots projects, actions and campaigns, trained as part of Localities national ‘Community Organiser’ programme. Harry’s approach is rooted in principles of Asset Based Community Development and Design-Led Thinking.

Harry has enjoyed adapting to different organising styles necessary for community development in a rural context compared to working in London. Projects at DCT have included supporting social enterprises to connect with community projects, developing an action-research project to improve local disability and learning difficulty provision, and developing local social prescribing pathways for social inclusion. Previous projects organized around have included a parent-led tuition group, a community based exercise class and crèche, a campaign to open a local sports pitch, and a local community festival. Harry is especially passionate about addressing the climate emergency and holds an MSc in ‘Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability’ from BTH University (Sweden) which is rooted in facilitation and systems thinking across disciplines. Harry represents DCT on the Devon County Council’s Net-Zero Task Force, working to develop a Net Zero Carbon Plan for Devon.

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