Community Assets and Attributes Model (CAAM)

A black and white representation of a network, with a web of nodes and connecting lines

What is the CAAM?

The Community Assets and Attributes Model (CAAM) is a method for measuring human, cultural, social, and political capital in U.S. counties. Developed to help aviation biofuel researchers and practitioners better consider and include social assets of communities in their biofuel facility site-selection models, the CAAM uses various national datasets to create comparative, county-level scores of each capital.  The capital scores are benchmarked to Census Region to determine if a county performs or underperforms in comparison to the regional average.  However, these scores can be adapted to your region or area of interest.  The CAAM has been applied in the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado.

Researchers and Practitioners can use the CAAM scores to inform and evaluate development decisions, such as the siting of complex technological facilities. CAAM is currently being used to assess the impact of social capital on uptake of agricultural innovations, COVID19 vaccinations, and more.

CAAM Publications

For an explanation of the development of the latest CAAM and scores:

Mueller et al. (2020). “Quantifying the community capitals framework: Strategic application of the community assets and attributes model”

For previous versions of the CAAM:

Martinkus et al. (2017). “Biorefinery site selection using a stepwise biogeographical and social analysis approach.”

Rijkhoff et al. (2017). “Communities ready for takeoff: Integrating social assets for biofuel site-selection modeling.”

To access the CAAM:

CAAM Scores

CAAM Indicators

CAAM Scores Codebook

CAAM Indicators Codebook

To cite the CAAM:

Mueller, D., Hoard, S., Roemer, K., Sanders, C., & Rijkhoff, S.A.M. (2020) “Quantifying the community capitals framework: Strategic application of the community assets and attributes model”. Community Development, DOI:

Questions about the CAAM?

This tool is meant to be shared and utilized in support of the sustainable development of major projects. If you have more questions about its utility and use, contact Dr. Season Hoard.