Module 2: The CRS Integral Human Development Framework: Assets

Permanent Module

Module 2 introduces the CRS Integral Human Development framework and identifies assessment of assets as a key element in the agency’s program design and strategy. The module identifies and defines the six types of assets and why they are important for Catholic Relief Services’ international development programming. Students are invited to assess their own assets through a “My IHD” exercise.

The slide deck, The CRS Integral Human Development Framework: Assets, is this Module's core resource. It is designed to be self-guided for use by individual learners, along with discussion questions, readings and exercises.  The slide deck can also be used as a presentation in a more traditional classroom format.  

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Course materials

Module Materials


1. Identify the key elements of the IHD framework.

2. Define “assets” and identify and their role within the CRS IHD framework.

3. Describe the impact of quality, access, power, and control in the ability to utilize assets.


1. Which of the CRS Integral Human Development Conceptual Framework Visual Models makes the most sense to you? Why?

2. Can you think of examples from your own life or the lives of others where assets have been enhanced or limited by quality, access, power, or control?

3. How do the photos and images in the Module 2 slide deck illustrate the role of individual and communal assets within integral human development?

4. Why are assets an important starting point for the CRS Integral Human Development Conceptual Framework?


Term Sheet

Primary Resources

Slide Deck: The CRS Integral Human Development Framework: Assets


This slide deck is the core resource for Module 2. It provides an overview of the CRS Integral Human Development Conceptual Framework and explores one of its core components, assets.

Exercise: My Personal IHD – Assets


Utilize this handout to complete the My Personal IHD - Assets Exercise. Fill in each box to reflect on your own (or your family’s/household’s) assets.

CRS Video: Azure – Investing in Water


Highlighting IHD principles, the video Azure-Investing in Water describes a CRS-partnered project in El Salvador that helps to ensure access to safe drinking water.  Bilingual English/Spanish. 3:13 minutes. 


Azure-Investing in Water. Vimeo video produced by Citizen Barnd and Story Lab. July 10, 2018. Web.

CRS Video: Nelly’s Story


CRS El Salvador's Youth Build project helps youth from tough neighborhoods to start their own small businesses. See how one young woman, Nelly, turned her kitchen into a bakery and is helping to support her family by selling bread. Bilingual English/Spanish. 4:18 minutes.


Article: “Asset-Based and Citizen-Led Development: Using a Diffracted Power Lens to Analyze the Possibilities and Challenges”


Using the lens of diffracted power, the authors explore the application of asset-based community development in the Philippines, Ethiopia and South Africa.  The authors determine such an approach can “reverse internalized powerlessness, strengthen opportunities for collective endeavours and help to build local capacity for action.” 12 pages.


Alison Mathie, Jenny Cameron, and Katherine Gibson. “Asset-Based and Citizen-Led Development: Using a Diffracted Power Lens to Analyze the Possibilities and Challenges.” Progress in Development Studies. Volume 17 Number 1. 2017. p 54-66.


Secondary Resources

Article: In the Brookings Institute’s report Asset-Based Approaches to Poverty Reduction in a Globalized Context Carolyn Moser discusses the value-added of asset-based approaches to poverty reduction in a globalized context, drawing on a longitudinal research project, background papers, and contributions from a workshop.  41 pages. Source: The Brookings Institute. November 1, 2006. Web.

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