How community groups can use existing assets to develop local projects

May 2012 ….Extract from Guardian Voluntary sector blog about the Neighbourhood Challenge – a programme I lead at Nesta.
The Neighbourhood Challenge programme has invested in 17 communities with ambitions to test out innovative ways of involving new people in locally led action.

 Many people who work within communities are used to doing a needs assessment to begin a new relationship or project; however, many of the groups in the Neighbourhood Challenge programme over the past year have turned this concept on its head and began by mapping the strengths and ‘assets’ that already exist in the local area. Groups actively searched for and connected up a variety of existing local assets whether that was unused buildings or equipment to new ideas, or people with the skills, talents or time to support locally led change.

This approach isn’t about ignoring needs, it is about finding strengths first. Most communities have considerable unrecognised assets that can be used and built upon, given flexible, supportive investment…./Read more at:


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