Introduction to ABCD Approaches and Techniques

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

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

*Please note, there is a 10% early bird discount available if you book at least 4 weeks before the course date. The discount will be shown automatically at the Eventbrite checkout. The cost indicated includes the Eventbrite booking fee.

*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

Course description

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.

This course is an introduction to a topic which can be explored in great depth and so will look at and reflect on the basic principles of this form of work. 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.

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 problem. 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.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course you will;

  • Better understand the ABCD process
  • Understand the types of listening, and their importance, in building relationships
  • Better understand power and power dynamics and their relevance to the ABCD process
  • Explore moving from community-listening and asset mapping towards action
  • Have considered your own next steps.

Your tutor: 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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