Paper: Asset Based Community Development a practice to assist in decolonising aid and development?

Paper details

Paper authors Annabel Dulhunty
In panel on Decolonising aid? Issues and directions
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


In recent years there has been renewed focus in decolonising development and humanitarian aid. This has led to an increased focus on shifting power dynamics from the Global North to the Global South. It has also prompted interest in devising alternative models of working, with much greater emphasis on locally-led solutions. In practice, however, it can at times be confusing as to how these ideas translate into alternative forms of practice. This paper presents the value of one such model for decolonising aid practice, through explaining strengths-based approaches (SBA). This paper illustrates that SBA equips both aid workers and communities with a completely different mindset to their work – as community assets and solutions are emphasised over a deficit model of needs or weaknesses. Through examples from aid programs in Eastern Africa, this paper illustrates the value of SBA and discusses challenges in successfully implementing it for the decolonisation agenda.



Annabel Dulhunty