ABCD Institute > Institute Faculty > Active Faculty > Gord Cunningham

Gord Cunningham


Gord Cunningham has more than 35 years of experience in community economic development, community-based microfinance and asset-based community development in Canada and internationally.  Gord is currently the Executive Director of both the Coady International Institute and the StFX University Extension Departments which include a Centre for Women’s Leadership, a Centre for Employment Innovation and an Innovation and Enterprise Centre. The Institute annually operates more than two dozen education programs and research projects in Canada and around the world. With the Institute Gord has worked in Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, the Philippines, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam. His programmatic work has almost always been focused on exploring the application of asset-based and citizen-led approaches to community development in different contexts. He has co-authored articles in The Canadian Journal of Development Studies and Development and Practice. He is also the co-editor of a book entitled: From Clients to Citizens: Communities changing the course of their own development published by Practical Action (UK) in September 2008. 

Gord received his MA in Rural Planning and Development from the University of Guelph, and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo. Gord is also an Emeritus member of the ABCD Institute Faculty at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. 

Selected Publications & Presentations 

  • Cunningham G. & L. Fuchs, V. Kipkorir. L. Owiti and L. Cosmas. The Integrated Household Leaky Bucket, Coady Innovations Series, December 2018 

  • Cunningham G., & Merrifield J. (2015). Ecotrust Canada: Building the conservation economy. In A. Mathie & J. Gaventa (Eds.), Citizen-led Innovation for a New Economy. Halifax, NS:  Fernwood. 

  • Cunningham, G. (2011). Community Economic Literacy and the ‘Leaky Bucket’Coady Occasional Paper #9.(2 Mb pdf) 

  • Mathie, A. & Cunningham, G. (Eds.). (2008). From Clients to Citizens: communities changing the course of their own development. Rugby, UK: Practical Action. 

  • Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2003). From clients to citizens: Asset-based community development as a strategy for community-driven development. Developmentin Practice, Volume 13, Number 5, November 2003 

  • Cunningham, G. (2005). The Jambi Kiwa story: Mobilizing assets for community development, (9.5 MB pdf), Spanish(4 Mb pdf). 

  • Mathie, A.,& Cunningham, G. (2005). Who is driving development? Reflections on the Transformative Potential of Asset-Based Community DevelopmentCoady Occasional Paper #5. (503K pdf) – also appears in Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 26 (1), 175-187). ​