Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight is an approach about reconstructing macro social work in communities.
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The knowledge included in the article runs from macro social work strategies and is used to disseminate the success of society development. The findings of the article are arranged into a gradual introduction to a logical strategy that was gathered from community leaders. This strategy is known as “asset-based community approach.”
This article is intended to assist communities not only to identify and map their assets but to organize them for developmental aims. Furthermore, the authors explained the fundamental constituents of an asset-based community improvement method.
Kretzmann & McKnight (1993) stated that capacity assessments work together with participatory community development because each community possesses a distinctive sequence of assets at which to develop its future. Though, as stated by the authors a careful and accurate strategy of the assets would start with the value of the current assets, work, skills and capabilities of the populace within the community.
Generally, the capability decision makers will observe an immeasurable and unexpected range of individual abilities and useful talents, a small amount of which is being collected for community development intentions.
Furthermore, the authors noted that in community asset planning, citizens and organizations research the state of difficulties and source of aid or support that may be drawn upon when required in their communities and create strategies which will resolve the social work practice issues in the community.
The procedure is adjusted internally, not depending on the suggestion of external professionals, and joint motivation, but with all partakers working together for a mutual success (Kretzmann & McKnight 1993).
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Kretzmann & McKnight (1993) proposed the planning or mapping of the below-stated types of assets:
- Assets situated and controlled by the community
- Community assets controlled by external bodies
- Resources based outside the community and managed by external bodies.
According to the authors, the community’s most easily obtained assets are those new or reserve supply placed in the community and basically under its management. These consist of human assets, like human capacities, own income, gifts of physically challenged or neglected people, local organizations, as well as organizational assets.
The last includes citizens’ associations as well as organizations of businesses, financial institutions, cultural organizations, communications organizations, and religious organizations.
Kretzmann and McKnight also include a protocol for assessing personal capacity in areas such as construction, office equipment operation and repair, food preparation, transportation, and child care (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993). Many other domains of individual competence can be imagined, including leadership, group-process, problem-solving, and participation skills.
The second type of resources consists of assets placed within the community but basically managed by external bodies. Kretzmann & McKnight (1993) consider these to be secondary and undivided natural strategies. They are divided into private and nonprofit organizations, public institutions and services, and other physical resources. Institutions of higher education, hospitals, and social service agencies fall in the first category.
Public institutions and services include public schools, police, libraries, fire departments, and parks. Physical resources include unused land and buildings as well as programs to conserve and recycle energy and waste.
In conclusion, these are resources arising from outside the community and managed by external bodies. All public expenses are believed to be investments in development, although frequently they are used for maintenance of individuals without work and of poor communities. These are welfare expenses, public capital development expenses, and public information.
Kretzmann, J. P. & McKnight, J. L. (1993). Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets. Evanston, IL: Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research.