Idea of the Month: By the people

| Helen Sharp

This isn’t a new concept but it’s one I’ve come across recently during my travels into the world of Asset Based Community-driven Development or ABCD. The theory goes something like this:

The power balance of public sector service activity between professionals and citizens can be described by the following:

  • To the people
  • For the people
  • With the people
  • By the people

Co-production is ‘with the people’, but push the power further – and you reach ‘by the people’. Co-production is a tangible way of reaching this and whereby many of us are striving to make ‘with the people’ happen, some of those working in communities are managing to step back even further and facilitate ‘by the people’. They’re seeing amazing outcomes as a result. We’ll be highlighting some of these on the Ideas Hub.

Background: ABCD was first developed as an approach by John Kretzman and John McKnight in America. It is a bottom-up way of working with communities that focuses on community strengths and assets. ABCD emphasises that ‘stepping back is best’ so that any development is driven by the community; not external agencies.

There’s a heap of information about ABCD on the internet and particularly check these sites out:

Key people: Cormac Russell from Nurture Development who champions ABCD in the UK. You can find a great TED Talk by Cormac (as well as our take on it) here.

Share this article:

Similar articles

by Ben Andrews

Beyond Empower: supporting healthy, active lives for disabled people by transforming mainstream spaces and services

In this guest blog, Beyond Empower founder Ben Andrews tells us about their work to transform mainstream spaces, communities and leisure services so that they're accessible to people with disabilities. By thinking differently about the barriers, Beyond Empower help providers, councils and businesses create services that everyone in the community can access and enjoy.

Read article
by Lauren Wallace-Thompson

I’m With Sam: Tackling learning disability hate crime with Dimensions

Learning disability hate crime is a problem that is under-reported but can have a huge impact on victims. Dimensions' #ImWithSam campaign is led by an expert with lived experience and takes a multi-pronged approach to the problem. They support victims, raise awareness, train police forces, work with the CPS and influence policy to improve reporting, convictions and ensure victims are taken seriously.

Read article
by Kath Smythe

Secret Musings of a Change Agent

Experienced change consultant and coach Kath Smythe tells us all about her new blog series where she talks to "some fabulous ordinary people who are really great at making change happen” to try and discover what it is that underpins their skill. It's a must read!

Read article