There are a variety of concepts, organizations
and tools that foster understanding and movement toward
Community Development (ABCD) and Asset-based Education Asset-Based Community Development
(ABCD) focuses on the strengths and assets of a community,
rather than its problems and weakness. Unlike a deficit
model which assumes that people who are experiencing
problems need help from skilled outsiders, an ABCD approach
builds the capacity of people to maximize their assets
and solve their own problems. It uses the ideas and
skills of people in the community to turn threats into
opportunities. For more information, see www.northwestern.edu/ipr/abcd
In an “asset-based” approach
to education all members of the learning team are given
opportunities to contribute their strengths and skills
(assets), rather than being seen in terms of skills
they lack or what they need to learn (deficit model).
The process builds on the diverse interests and views
of the participants. Everyone is given opportunities
to teach as well as to learn.
Side The Third Side is a concept
developed by Dr. William Ury of the Global Negotiation
Project at Harvard Law School. It offers a promising
new way to look at the conflicts around us. Rather than
viewing conflict as two-sided, this framework shows
the crucial roles played by everyone who is not directly
involved. It suggests ten practical roles any of us
can play on a daily basis to stop destructive fighting
in our families, at work, in our schools, and in the
The Third Side does not seek to eliminate
conflict. Conflict is an important aspect of social
life. It brings about change and confronts injustice.
The best decisions result not from a superficial consensus,
but from surfacing different points of view and searching
for creative solutions. If anything, we need more conflict,
not less. What the Third Side enables us to do is to
transform conflict, to change the form it takes from
bitter arguments, power contests, violence, and war
into dialogue, negotiation, and democracy.
The Ten Roles of the Third Side are broken
down into the different phases of conflict management:
preventing, resolving and containing:
Coexistence seeks to encourage bridge-building
and cross-community efforts with the goal of living
peacefully and respectfully with people who are different.
Its objective is not the seamless union of divergent
groups, but a practical relationship of mutual respect.
Co-operative coexistence leads to community building
and the development of stronger communities, whether
local, national or regional.
Diplomacy The term multi-track diplomacy
is based on the original distinction made by Joseph
Montville in 1981 between official, governmental actions
to resolve conflicts (Track One) and unofficial efforts
by non-governmental professionals to resolve conflicts
within and between states (Track Two).
Track Two (also called Citizen Diplomacy)
consists of conflict resolution professionals, business,
religion, activism, research, training, education, philanthropy,
the media and private citizens. This is a systems approach
to resolving conflicts. No one track is more important
than the other, and no one track is independent from
the others. Each track has its own resources, values,
and approach, but since they are all linked, they can
operate more powerfully when they are coordinated.
See Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy: www.imtd.org
Citizen Diplomacy. This term refers to non-governmental
“people-to-people” dialogue (or other forms
of cooperation) between representatives of countries
or ethnic groups that are in conflict. The term was
used frequently during the Cold War to refer to activities
of private citizens of the U.S. and Soviet Union who
decided to take personal responsibility for reducing
the threat of nuclear war.
Ordinary people created initiatives that
enabled U.S. and Soviet citizens to maintain dialogue
and work cooperatively on joint projects in the face
of the nuclear threat. Projects included scientific
collaborations, unofficial meetings to discuss reducing
nuclear risks, as well as tours of ordinary citizens
to meet people in each other’s countries, stay
as guests in each others’ homes, attend civic
functions, and speak to local media. See Multi-track
Diplomacy (above) for additional information.