Asset Mapping approaches

Part of: Section one - Community Needs Assesment 

  • ALISS - A local information system for Scotland
  • 'Building Communities from the Inside Out' - (South Lanarkshire Council/Community Links)

What is it?

Asset mapping is an approach to working in and with communities which supports them to think about what is available in their community. It is a useful approach to explore a range of issues from physical assets to availability of resources and services, to explore and map how people feel about the community they live in and the issues facing them - both positive and negative. As such it has been used as part of Participatory Appraisal, as a way of mapping care services available, as a means of mapping the range of community organisations and resources available and as a means of involving local people in describing the community they live in. Within the community development context, asset mapping should be seen both as a needs assessment and as an engagement tool.

Who should use it?

This is an approach which can be used at a range of levels. It could be used by an experienced practitioner working with a community organisation which wants to explore what is available within their community and develop plans for taking action on the issues discovered. As such it could be the starting point for local community planning. It will also be an interesting approach for partnerships to adopt when considering what they actually know about any given community - especially when that community includes agencies and community organisations. As such it will assist in exploring common understanding and developing agreed actions.

Who should it be used with?

This approach is probably best used in a defined geographic community, but it can be used with specific care groups within that community. It can be used with community organisations and agencies where there is a commitment to action.