Using asset mapping

Interview with Louise Beaton, Community Care Worker, Corrimal Region Uniting Church

Having been inspired at the 2011 Insight Conference (http://insightconference.com.au/) and the work of Barnardos’ Bundaleer Child and Family Community Development Project, Louise began an asset mapping exercise to discover what skills and passions the people within her church have. Six months down the track, here is their story …

Why asset mapping?

Louise says that while she has some idea of what people’s skills are, the value of asset mapping is that it captures what doesn’t come in up in casual conversations or groups discussions, because its not only about people’s jobs, education or what skills they have, but also their passions.

Louise believes that adopting an ABCD approach is integral to her role and their success in getting her position funded. By capturing the assets of the people involved in the church, Louise was able to show how together they could achieve the aims, rather than just one person trying to do it all by herself, which would of course be unachievable.

Louise’s tips

While its likely that a fair proportion of people will fill in the written survey, you will also need to undertake individual follow-up to collect the remainder. Make time to sit and talk with people individually so that they understand more about what you are trying to achieve and so that you can better understand their skills and passions.

Think of some creative ways to engage people in the ABCD approach, such as showing video clips of inspiring stories to get people talking about what inspires them and what projects they would like to work on. Louise suggests Peter Kenyon’s resources at Bank of IDEAS (http://www.bankofideas.com.au/)

What have been the benefits so far?

From the mapping exercise, Louise has identified a range of skills and interests that she never knew her congregation had. She is harnessing these to improve the programs and activities of the church, eg. identifying a person with marketing skills who was able to help promote a successful community Mental Health Expo, and to support new initiatives built on people’s passions, eg. finding a horticulturist within the men’s shed who’ll be able to lead the  building of a community garden.

Resources on asset mapping are available at http://abcdasiapacific.ning.com/forum/topics/share-your-mapping-designs-methods-models

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