Community Diagnostics and Social Impact Toolkit Project

The community capital framework provides a lens through which to consider the unique characteristics of each community. Dr. Abigail Borron and Dr. Kevan Lamm have developed an instrument, the Community Diagnostics and Social Impact (CD+SI) Toolkit, to quantify perceptions of community, both as an entity and among individuals within the community. Within the framework, political capital is a community's capacity to influence the allocation and availability of resources; natural capital is a community's existing environmental resources; social capital is a community's relationships and networks; human capital is a community's human resources; cultural capital is a community's heritage and self-perceptions; and built-financial capital identifies the financial and physical resources that can be utilized to benefit residents and facilitate growth.

Introducing the CD+SI Toolkit

Abigail Borron Associate Professor
Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication
Kevan Lamm Assistant Professor
Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication

Published Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Borron, A., Lamm, K., & Atkins, K. (2021). Perceptions of personal agency within communities: Validation of a diagnostic instrument. Community Development.
  • Lamm, K. W., Borron, A. & Atkins, K. (2021). The development and validation of an empirical scale to inform community diagnostics and change. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 27(3), 287-306.
  • Lamm, K. W., Borron, A., & Atkins, K. (2020). The community diagnostics and social impact toolkit: Development and validation of a reliable measure. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(4), 249-265.
  • Borron, A., Lamm, K. W., & Atkins, K. (2020). The development and validation of a personal agency scale based in the community capitals framework. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 27(3), 43-58.
  • Borron, A., Lamm, K. W., Darbisi, C., & Randall, N. (2019). Social impact assessment in the Cooperative Extension System: Revitalizing the community capitals framework in measurement and approach. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 26, 75-88.

Extension Publications
Cultivating Connections: Social Capital and Community and Introducing the CD+SI Toolkit
(B 1547-1)
Social capital refers to resources resulting from relationships and networks within a community. These resources include the established expectations and practices (or norms) that shape the behavior of community or group members, known penalties for disregarding these norms, higher levels of trust, and the give-and-take transactions necessary for cooperation. These resources typically will enable communities to function more effectively by engaging residents and encouraging teamwork.
Natural Capital: The Foundation of Community Development and Introducing the CD+SI Toolkit
(B 1547-2)
Natural capital refers to a community’s environmental resources, such as air, water, land, forests, vegetation, minerals, fossil fuels, local animal populations, and all other natural resources. These resources can be considered capital assets because of the potential goods and services derived from them, such as food, drinking water, timber, and natural beauty. Natural capital is also the foundation on which all other capital is based, as it supplies the basic materials for nurturing life, building infrastructure, and influencing local culture.
Political Capital: Power and Influence in Community Development and Introducing the CD+SI Toolkit
(B 1547-3)
Political capital can increase communities’ productive capacity by helping them and their residents achieve specific goals that would be unattainable without it. Political capital refers to the power and influence of communities and groups that are organized around strong relationships and associations.
Human Capital: Developing Communities by Investing in People and Introducing the CD+SI Toolkit
(B 1547-4)
People represent one of the most important local assets available to a community. While a collection of individuals is needed to start and maintain a community, growth and prosperity largely depend on the talents these individuals possess and the contributions they make to ensure that the community thrives. The education, training, and personal characteristics that give rise to these talents are called human capital.
Cultural Capital: Strengthening Community Identity and Introducing the CD+SI Toolkit
(B 1547-5)
Cultural capital refers to the resources that make up a community’s tangible and intangible creative assets. Tangible assets can include historical buildings, sites, and other structures, as well as local art, sculptures, and crafts. Intangible assets include community traditions, customs, values, practices, music, and literature, which contribute to a community’s identity and distinguish community members. These items of cultural capital can contribute to the overall cultural value existing within a community. This publication provides additional details and insights how communities, citizens, and educators can use cultural capital to engage in productive dialogue and programs.
Built-Financial Capital: The Promise and Potential of Community Development and Introducing the CD+SI Toolkit
(B 1547-6)
Built-financial capital refers to the constructed environment (or infrastructure) and economic resources needed to support community activities and sustain successful community development. Considering the infrastructure as well as the financial resources within a community may provide an important perspective regarding needs as well as opportunities.