Tackling poverty with local assets: A case study on congregational asset-based community development in a Lutheran church in Madagascar
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionDiaconia. Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice. 2019, 10 (2), 119-140. 10.13109/diac.2019.10.2.119
How can congregational diakonia contribute to community development in the absence of external resources? Community-driven development rests on the principle of development through community participation. Faithbased communities have the potential to be important stakeholders in civil societies and local communities through the participation and involvement of their members and thereby contribute to community development. However, the resources may not always benefit the local communities, as institutional structures in the Church may claim their share. This article studies two Lutheran Church of Malagasy congregations in South-West Madagascar, where an asset-based congregational community development approach called “Use Your Talent” (UYT) is applied. Through qualitative interviews with volunteers and project leaders we analyze the implementation of UYT approach and methodology of asset-mapping and mobilization. Overall, our results point to a contraction in strengthening the local communities and collecting resources for Church structures.