Rôles de développement communautaire
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Rôles de développement communautaire

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Introduction to Community Development

Community
Development
Strategies

Mapping Your Community Assets

Untitled Slide
Community asset mapping is a positive approach to building strong communities, developed by John Kretzmann and John McKnight, of the Asset¬Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The Community Asset Mapping process outlined by Kretzmann and McKnight in their guidebook Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Towards Finding and Mobilising a Communit's Assets [1] describes in detail a process to mobilize a community to use its assets to develop a plan to solve its problems and improve residents' quality of life.

Mapping Your Community Assets

Introduction

Traditional methods of community work tend to focus on a community's deficits; i.e. their needs and problems. Often, one of the first steps of a community worker is to undertake a needs assessment of the community, which usually focusses on issues :such as unemployment, poverty, crime and illiteracy, while ignoring the assets that exist in the community. Working from a "needs" perspective generally leads to external funds and services being sought to help the community. While these may indeed have positive benefits to community residents, often the result is a fragmented patchwork of services. Many of the services may not be appropriate to the culture and dynamics of that particular community, and do not contribute to building the capacity of the community or empower individuals to be self¬sufficient. In a nutshell, "needs-based" assessments tend to lead to community dependence rather than community development.

Mapping Your Community Assets

Kretzmann and McKnight propose that community developers start with a "clear commitment to discovering a community's capacities and assets". (Kretzmann and McKnight 1993, p.1). The asset¬based approach does not remove the need for outside resources, but makes their use more effective by:
• starting with what is present in the community
• concentrating on the agenda¬building and problem¬solving capacity of the residents stressing local determination, investment, creativity, and control [2]
Each community has assets to be preserved and enhanced. These assets can be used by residents as the foundation from which to build a positive future. Beyond developing a simple inventory, this 'mapping' process is designed to promote connections or relationships between individuals, between individuals and organizations, and between organizations and organizations. Combining community assets creates a synergy that exponentially increases the capacity of the community to meet the needs of its residents. The information collected through this asset¬mapping process may also be used as the foundation for many other processes, such as strategic planning, community mobilization and community economic development.

Mapping Your Community Assets

Community assets include:

• Skills, knowledge, talents and experience of local residents
• Community associations, many of which provide benefits far beyond their mandate
• Businesses
• Schools, churches, libraries and other institutions that operate within the community
• Municipal services such as police, fire, parks and recreation services
• Other social services and community organizations
• Physical structures; e.g. town square, heritage buildings Natural resources; e.g. river, trees, green space

Mapping Your Community Assets

A. Mapping Individual Capacity

Different methods can be used for creating an individual capacity inventory. Personal interviews will yield more in¬depth information bust is very costly. Other possibilities are
• Mailing out a survey
• Dropping off surveys door¬to¬door
• Have surveys available at convenient locations for people to pick up and return
• Telephone calls
• Meet people in groups [3]

Mapping Your Community Assets

Kretzmann and McKnight's guide provides a template for an individual capacity inventory to identify a wide array of skills and experience of residents which they are able to contribute to the community. The capacity inventory must not be seen as a study of neighbourhood residents, but as a community development tool. It should be designed and presented in a way that will encourage residents to view themselves as having valuable assets that they could contribute to the community and to connect people that can help each other.
The plan will also need to identify the human and financial resources required to complete the asset map. Once the plan is in place, an individual capacity assessment is conducted, followed by an inventory of other community assets. Once the assets are identified, they are analysed to find their "points of connection"[4], forming the basis of a community mobilization process.

Mapping Your Community Assets

B. Mapping Groups, Organizations and Institutions

The Community Tool Box [5] provides a simple set of guidelines for taking an inventory of all the groups (associations, organizations, and institutions) that exist in the community. One method is to simply make a list.

IMAGES
Process Strategies

Here are some of their suggestions for getting starting:

Step 1

Get out a pad and start writing.
Begin with what you know. Write down anything that comes to mind. You can always correct your list later. You can do this work by yourself; but it might be more useful and fun to work with others. This is also a great project for students or interns.

Step 2

Use other sources of information to add to your list. These can include:
• The yellow pages are a free, comprehensive, and often excellent source.
• Town directories, published for your community alone.
• Lists of businesses, probably available from the chamber of commerce.
• Lists of organizations check
• your library or town hall.
• The local newspaper, newsletters and other print sources
• Bulletin boards. Physical bulletin boards, for sure; and also community calendar type listings that might be found on local cable television.
• Your friends and colleagues. They may know about other lists available or of groups, organizations, and community assets that are not on anybody else's lists.

Step 3

To expand your list further, check the Community Capacity Inventory [6], provided by the Community Tool Box.
• GRASSROOTS OR CITIZENS' ASSOCIATIONS
e.g. All local neighbourhood organizations
• INSTITUTIONS
e.g. Any publicly funded or private educational institution
• COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS
e.g. Advocacy groups for environment, safety, drug abuse reduction, et cetera
• PRIVATE SECTOR
e.g. Businessmen's/businesswomen's associations
• LABELED POPULATIONS
e.g. Immigrant populations

Step 4

Learn more about each organization you have identified. You can inquire about available staffing, space, equipment, expertise, and willingness to help and get involved in a variety of ways. This will take more time but may be well worth it. For some possible questions you can ask, see Questions to ask while capacity mapping [6].
• How many people are part of your organization?
• How often do your members gather? Do you gather outside of regular meetings?
• What kind of funding does your organization have? Where else do you get support?
• Where does your organization meet? What other spaces does your organization have access to?
• What kind of equipment does your organization have access to?
• What kind of written media materials/newsletters does your organization have?
• How does your organization keep its members up to date on activities and staff changes?
• Which of your organization's resources would you be willing to make accessible to other community members?
• What kinds of services does your organization provide to the community? How do you make these services known to the public? What kinds of projects are your organization involved in now? What has your organization accomplished thus far?
• How many of your staff members live in the community served by your organization?
• Where do you purchase your supplies and equipment, go for repair services, etc.?
• What are your organization's most valuable resources and strongest assets?
• What other organizations do you work with, personally? What other organizations does your group sponsor events with? Share information with? Share resources or equipment with?
• Who else does work or provides similar services to the community as those provided by your organization?
• Does your group belong to any other associations? What kinds of special events does your organization take part in?
• What kind of associations or relationship does your organization have with local businesses and banks?
• What other groups or sub-populations does your organization support or advocate for?
• What kind of new projects would your organization be interested in taking on, directly related to your mission? Indirectly or outside of your mission?
• What other projects or movements are you involved in that serve youth, the elderly, people with disabilities, the fine arts community, people receiving public assistance, immigrant or minority populations?
• How feasible is it for your organization to get involved in more projects, more community development/health promotion efforts?
• What kind of changes would you like to see in the community in the next five years? How would you effect these changes?

Step 5

Refine and revise your list. You can put it on a computer, if you haven't done so already. You can also break your list down in several different ways: alphabetically, geographically, by type of function, by size, by public/private membership or governance, or however you want.

C. Creating a Map

"Mapping" involves identifying relationships, whether to the geographic landscape, to other organizations or to other community features. Maps are good visual aids: when you can see the data right in front of you, your understanding and insight is often increased.

IMAGE


Courtesy of http://grangebiglocal.org

Mapping Your Community Assets

There are several ways to go about mapping community assets:
One mapping method is to find a large street map of your community, with few other markings. (Your local Planning Department may help here.) Then just mark with a dot, or tag, or push¬pin (maybe colour¬coded by type) the geographic location of the groups and organizations you have found. The patterns that emerge may surprise you. You may see, for example, that certain locations have different numbers or types of associations. Those areas where few associations exist may be good targets for community development later on.
This type of mapping can also be done by computer, with an appropriate software program. These programs are more sophisticated than paper¬and¬pushpin mapping, as you can create "overlays," visually placing one category of map over another, for a more comprehensive view of the community.
You can also just diagram your resources in a way that clearly show the linkages among different categories of assets

Mapping Your Community Assets

D. Using community assets

While there is value just in raising awareness of what exists in your community, the real value of asset mapping is realized when these assets are put to work for the benefit of the community. Some ideas from the Community Tool Box are:
• You can publish the assets identified and make them available to all community members. In doing so, you will stimulate public asset knowledge and use. It may also attract new businesses and other opportunities to your community, thus using existing assets to create new ones.
• You can use your knowledge of assets to tackle a new community project ¬¬ because now you may have more resources to work on that project than you originally thought.
• You can find new ways to bring groups and organizations together, to learn about each other's assets ¬¬ and perhaps to work collaboratively on projects such as the one above.
• You can publicize these assets, and attract new businesses and other opportunities to your community. In both this example, and the ones just above, (This is what makes community work exciting!)
• You can set up structured programs for asset exchange, which can range from individual skill swaps to institutional cost¬sharing. You can establish a process by which community assets keep getting reviewed, perhaps on a regular basis.

Mapping Your Community Assets

Community Building Resources in Edmonton have reported the following examples of activities that have emerged from their Community Capacity Building and Asset Mapping© efforts:
• a church beginning a community kitchen
• a church started an employment program for refugees a group developing a network of Walking Trails
• a group developing a baby¬sitting registry for new parents a group working on community gardens
• a Capacity Study team member was able to provide connections to a bookkeeper and a carpenter who were willing to provide their services either for free or inexpensively
• a community group celebrating their history gathered 400 community citizens, conducted historical walks and bus tours in the community businesses developing a Community Resource booklet [7]

Mapping Your Community Assets

E. Community Asset Mapping and Other Organizations

Health organizations may find themselves involved in an asset¬mapping exercise initiated by another organization or community collaborative, or it may begin its own process, focused on a specific area of interest. For example, many health organizations view their partnerships with other organizations as significant assets. By mapping your organization's current partnerships, it is possible to identify ways of strengthening existing relationships as well as areas in which new partnerships would be beneficial. Here is one way of creating a visual partnership map.:

• Invite a diverse group of stakeholders to participate in this exercise
• Brainstorm all the partnerships, both formal and informal, that your organization currently has; name the specific organizations, not just the general category; e.g. "North London Kiwanis Club", not "service clubs".
• Record them on a flip-chart in a circle around the name of your organization. You could differentiate between formal (written agreement) and informal partnerships by having an inner and outer circle
• Identify the type of partnership (e.g. funder, member, information sharing)
• Identify the assets shared by the partners; indicate with arrows on the map whether the sharing is unilateral or bilateral
• Review the map and consider
a) whether there may be additional resources that could be shared
b) other ways in which the partnerships could be strengthened
c) whether there are other community groups, organizations or institutions with which partnerhips may be beneficial.
• Using the map as a point of reference, develop and implement a partnership strategy.
End of Unit:
Community Development Strategies
- Mapping Your Community Assets
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Introduction to Community Development

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