Advancement Project ( is a public policy change organization rooted in the civil rights movement.

Advancement Project ( is a public policy change organization rooted in the civil rights movement. We engi neer large-scale systems change to remedy inequality, expand opportunity and open paths to upward mobil ity. Our goal is that members of all communities have the safety, opportunity and health they need to thrive. Advancement Project’s Programs include: Educational Equity, Equity in Public Funds, Healthy City, and Urban Peace Institute.

HeAltHy city

Healthy City ( is an information + action resource that unites community voices, rigor- ous research and innovative technologies to solve the root causes of social inequity. We transform how people access and use information about their communities. As a program of Healthy City, the Community Research Lab partners with community-based organizations to develop, implement, and disseminate data/ mapping projects, tools, and workshops that promote community knowledge and Community Based Participatory Action Research.


How cAn tHis toolkit be UsefUl in yoUr sPecific work or Projects?

About this toolkit

How can this toolkit be used?

+ As an instructional toolkit for using and applying Participatory Asset mapping. Community-Based Organizations can use the concepts, methods, and tools provided, such as the Community-Engaged Mapping Facilitation Guide and Guide to Planning a Community-Engaged Mapping Event, to host an event or activity that collects knowledge and experiences from community members about local assets.

+ As a workbook for workshops on using Participatory Asset mapping as a tool for identifying community strengths and supporting change initiatives. It can be used to help plan and facilitate a workshop on how to implement an asset mapping event in your organization or community.

+ As a resource and information guide for conducting research within the CBPAR framework.

What will you find in this toolkit?

+ key research concepts and methods

+ Additional tools you can Use, with in-depth guides for applying the concepts and methods

+ glossary terms in bold

+ notes like the one below to write down any thoughts or ideas you have as you read

About the toolbox

Healthy City supports communities in identifying, organiz- ing, and sharing its collective voice with decision makers at the local and state levels. Through the Community Research Lab, we share best practices and methods for Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) interested in supporting their strategies with research that combines community knowledge with Healthy City technology. Toward this aim, we have developed the Community Research Lab Toolbox.

The toolbox presents research concepts, methods, and tools through topical guides and toolkits such as Community Research, Participatory Asset Mapping, and a Short Guide to CBPAR (all of which can be accessed at It is based on best practices from our work with CBOs and a unique approach to the Community Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) framework, which promotes research that:

1. Starts with issues and strategies then produces analysis that informs action

2. Uses mapping technology to engage organizations in the research process

3. Is both community-based and place-based, often focusing on a geographic place such as a neighborhood

The toolbox’s CBPAR framework explicitly focuses on community-based organizations that bring together com- munity members to visualize and actualize research and its outcomes. This includes non-profit organizations that operate in specific, local communities and are staffed by, work with, represent, assist, and/or advocate on behalf of residents of those communities on issues that affect their quality of life. These organizations have worked to gain trust among community members and have brought together a spectrum of people with varying ideas and perspectives that unite around a particular set of concerns relevant to a large portion of the community. Though it may have utility for other groups, it supports these organizations whose work directly engages community members in creating change.


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I. wHAt is PArticiPAtory Asset mAPPing? 6

II. wHy sHoUld yoU do it? 7

III. wHen sHoUld yoU do it? 8

– Using Asset Maps in Advocacy and Policy 8

– Using Asset Maps in Community Outreach 8

– Using Asset Maps in Community Organizing 9

IV. How do yoU do it? 10

Methods 10

– Community-Engaged Mapping 10

– Social Investigation 11



Community Walks

Tools 12

– Online Mapping 12




V. wHAt do yoU do witH yoUr resUlts? 13

– Analysis 13

– Reports 14

– Presentations 14

– Databases 14

VI. conclUsion: commUnity knowledge on tHe mAP 14

VII. glossAry 15

VIII. AdditionAl tools yoU cAn Use 18

– Appendix A: Case Study: Using Participatory Asset Mapping for Advocacy and Policy in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles (Alliance for a Better Community) 19

– Appendix b: WikiMaps User Guide (formerly Live Mapping) 20

– Appendix c: Community-Engaged Mapping: Planning an Asset Mapping Event 23

– Appendix d: Community-Engaged Mapping: Asset Mapping Facilitation Guide 26

– Appendix e: Ethics in Community Based Participatory Action Research 40

IX. references 41

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