Asset mapping produces a visual map of all the child development interventions in a state or district that the Action Team and its partners decide to include in the comprehensive framework. These may include any school-based programs that focus on this approach, as well as developmental programs in the community and other resources. The goal is to connect like-minded programs and provide a visual representation of what is already being done. This will not only demonstrate strength and support for the programs, it will show that there is already an infrastructure in place that can be used to grow the approach.
Asset-mapping reframes the task from specifying needs, the typical method that advocates use to present the case for investment in behavioral, social, and health programs, to describing current resources that are already in place and working. There is considerable research indicating that a presentation of needs does not generally produce as positive a response as does the “can-do” approach of building on assets.
The asset-mapping strategy also provides a useful tool for school personnel, providers, and any other advocates to start working together to define such next steps as whether and how to reorganize resources or what additional resources to seek based on the team’s goals.
Finally, asset-mapping encourages collecting population-based data that can show positive gains over time.
At its best, asset mapping paints a visual “big picture” of the comprehensive child development approach that helps policymakers and practitioners see how the multiple separate programs exist in relation to one another. It thereby becomes a fundamental tactic for harnessing support essential to the long-term sustainability of effective child development and prevention programs.
In this section, we will provide you with tools and tips for identifying and quantifying such assets and about technology to create your maps.
Updated June 2015