2.1 Asset-based Frameworks at the Community Level Community development had long been approached from a needs-based perspective, where development institutions focus on identifying the needs of the local community with the goal of presenting solutions that will address such needs. Recognizing the limitations that this approach presents in terms of community capacity building, as well as the undesirable impact of focusing on weaknesses rather than strengths, there came a shift in international development agency practice to the asset-based and strength-based approaches. Among the frameworks that emerged from this approach are (i) the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) proposed by the Institute for Policy Research at the Northwestern University, (ii) the asset-building framework now employed by the Ford Foundation, (iii) the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) developed by the Department for International Development (DFID), U.K., (iv) the Community Capitals Framework developed by the North Center Regional Center for Rural Development, (v) Hernando de Soto’s9proposal that various forms of sanctioned access to public goods is a form of community asset, and (vi) Jeffrey Sachs’10identification of various forms of tangible and intangible assets that local communities either own or can use for poverty alleviation. These frameworks share many similarities, including the recognition of both tangible and intangible community assets, the approach of building from strengths, and the emphasis on social capital to build social and economic enterprises. 8See: Panibagong Paraan 2008 at 9De Soto, H. 2000. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. Basic Books. 10Sachs, J. 2005. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time. Penguin Press.
Knowledge for Poverty Alleviation (KPA) Framework - Talisayon and Suministrado Page 4 of 22 The ABCD, proposed by Kretzmann and McKnight11, highlights the existing assets of the community and emphasizes the recognition and mobilization of these strengths to create economic opportunities. The approach utilizes appreciative inquiry methods for building a community history and for community dreaming, and mapping of often unrecognized community assets, particularly social capital. It also draws on participatory approaches to development, collaborative economic development, and strengthening civil society to develop them as citizens charting their own direction as opposed to clients of development projects12. The building of assets can be done by linking existing initiatives in the community, creating community-wide organizations and engaging partners13. The asset-building framework of the Ford Foundation guides its Asset Building and Community Development Program14. The basic premise is that building individual and community assets increases resilience and provides long-term stability and security that are requisites for permanent poverty reduction. The assets focused on are financial assets,