Asset Mapping

This semester in the Social Innovation Wing, we are going to embark on a new journey with asset mapping! Through this, we hope to be able to better understand the community before engaging in projects. We are very lucky to be able to work with Ben from *SCAPE, who has had tons of experience asset mapping in various neighbourhoods in Singapore. With his mentorship, we are sure that we will have a fruitful semester ahead!

Recently, we have conducted a walk around Casa Clementi to have a better understanding of the composite of buildings, spaces and people living there. We may look further into this community to identify gaps, tensions and voids that we can help to fill.

What is asset mapping?

Asset mapping is a framework of community development that is based on the methodology of asset-based community development (ABCD). The key tenets of this methodology are sustainability and empowerment. By assessing and understanding the various resources available in a community, we will be able to organise and coordinate these resources to take action on various issues. Resources can include formal and informal institutions and clubs, citizens’ associations, as well as the talents and experiences of individuals. Consequently, this creates an effect of empowerment, due to the utilisation of the innate resources of the residents themselves to better the community around them.

There are 2 main reasons behind choosing asset mapping as our main project for the semester.

1.After reflection over our first year as the SI Wing, we felt that most of the time when we engaged in projects for various communities, they lacked a truly deep understanding of the community. In this sense, the projects despite being successful to various extents, could not truly meet the innermost needs of the communities. Rather, they simply met surface desires or positions. Through asset mapping, we hope that we will be able to more deeply understand the community before engaging in projects, so as to more efficiently and effectively design a project to meet their needs.

2. We also thought that the empowering factor of asset mapping was very interesting and was a more sustainable way to carry out our SI projects. By empowering the residents themselves to effect change in their own community, they might be more inspired to continue the project even after we leave the community. This is something that we have not yet seen happen in our own SI projects, or in other CAPT projects, and we hope that it can bring some value-addedness to both our learning as well as the residents’ lives.

What happens after?

After asset mapping, we will have to sift through and analyse the data we would have collected over the entire semester. This will help us to generate insight about what projects might best benefit the residents of the community, and we will then begin brainstorming about what potential projects we can do in Semester 2.

Written by Cabrini Tan