To organize, measure, and understand the needs of local communities, KGI selected an approach from the field of community development called the Community Capitals Framework (CCF). CCF was chosen for its ability to frame public issues and measure indications of social change on Guam. KGI regards “Community Capitals” as intrinsic resources – tangible and intangible – that produce a vibrant community when managed effectively. They are subject to growth or depletion, and capable of re-investment over time into the creation of new resources. Tracking these variations in consistent ways produce natural indicators of community needs and advantages. Through these indicators, people can formulate better estimates of the potential impact of certain decisions, and look more towards the future when making choices in the present.
The original framework recognizes seven (7) categories of Community Capitals:
The KGI Work Group introduced the CCF during initial planning rounds. Through feedback, the Work Group adapted the approach to include another category, “Digital Capital“. Digital Capital accounts for a community’s digital resources as well, bringing the total number of categories to 8.
Housing, Transportation, Roads, Human-made systems (water, electricity, sewage, electronic communication) and other Infrastructure
Why is it a community capital? The Built Capital involves human-made objects and systems that greatly affect how communities function every day. We are constantly looking for ways to improve these infrastructures and therefore time, effort, and resources are invested into this capital.
Example: Overhead power lines are susceptible to damage, especially on Guam where seasonal winds and typhoons cause destruction to infrastructures above ground. As early as 2006, projects have begun to move power lines underground. The effort to put all the power lines underground is estimated to take 15 years to finish and about $600 million (PDN, 2006). Certain areas on Guam have underground power lines, while the rest still rely on the overhead power poles. Improving the Built Capital of Guam can solve the issue of power outages after a typhoon. Should a damaging typhoon hit the island, the gated community of Paradise Estates in Dededo will likely have electricity restored faster because they have underground power lines, whereas the neighboring residential areas will have to endure months of no electricity while repairs are being made.
Community and Regional Heritage, Interconnections with others
Why it is a community capital? The Cultural Capital is about how a community understands the world, which reflects on their traditions, language, ways of knowing and behaving, customs, and food. Culture is a capital in that it influences the voice of the people which in turn is what influences certain areas in a community. The cultural capital of a group is what fosters the values that are prioritized in a community.
Example: Efforts to preserve the Chamorro culture are ongoing issues on Guam. That is why several legislations have been passed to promote and preserve the Chamorro language and culture. One effort has been to standardize the spelling and other orthographic features of Chamorro names used to name current places. Public Law 21-08, passed in 1991, gives the Chamorro Language Commission power to formally name streets and other signs, places, buildings, and facilities on Guam.
Investments of Wealth for the Future
Why it is a community capital? The Financial Capital refers to the financial resources, both public and private, that can be available for the improvement of a community’s capacity and for future community development. It is the wealth that is available to support many aspects of the community, such as: the welfare programs that provide financial support to families, loan systems for individuals who want to start a business, for the community tax base, insurance, and retirement systems. Money can only be considered a financial capital if it is invested to create new resources.
Example: A quick survey of the locations of major banks on Guam reveals that most are located in the central and northern parts of the island. Villages in the south like Umatac, would have a lower financial capital because individuals seeking to acquire loans would have to go to one of the locations in the central and northern villages to be given the service they require. One improvement to look at is to open new banks in more dispersed locations to increase the financial capital of the island as a whole.
Individual’s Knowledge and Skills, Healthcare System, Education System, Community Safety
Why it is a community capital? The Human Capital includes the skills and abilities of people to enhance their resources so that they may be able to improve on other community capitals. To reach this, communities must invest in systems and practices from which individuals can learn and cultivate their skills and abilities. Therefore, educational institutions, the healthcare system, and a sense of safety and security of the people are important aspects in the human capital. It is in fostering a healthy human capital that a community can thrive and further apply knowledge.
Example: In the Governor’s State of the Island address in February 2014, Governor Calvo said he would be prioritizing the hiring of more police officers to enhance the presence of Guam law enforcement. Meanwhile, he has asked the airport and port authorities to act as additional police presence in the areas of Tamuning, Barrigada, and Piti. Another human capital example is Dededo. Dededo will be gaining a new resource, which is the new hospital set to open this fall (PDN, Jan. 2014). This means the healthcare on island can be improved, more residents can be provided care, and the human capital of the Guam community will increase.
Air, Soil, Ocean, and the Environment
Why it is a community capital? The natural physical world serves as the foundation for human communities. The Natural Capital involves ensuring a healthy ecosystem can be sustained so that communities can continue to thrive. It is therefore important to think of and invest in protecting, nurturing, and working with the assets of the natural world such as soil, the ocean, the weather, biodiversity, and the environment in general.
Example: In an effort to keep Guam’s waters clean, 2,695 gallons of hazardous materials were removed from the grounded Japanese commercial fishing vessel Daiku Maru 7 at the mouth of Apra Harbor on Naval Base Guam. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard worked with civilian contractors, Guam EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and NOAA to ensure that the environment was not further damaged in the process (PDN, Mar. 9, 2014).
Local politics building partnerships to advocate for local issues
Why it is a community capital? The Political Capital refers to power and influence in the community. It is the ability of a group to influence standards and regulations, and it is in the enforcement of those regulations that determine the distribution of resources and the ways they are used. A community with high political capital is better suited to collectively engage in finding solutions to an issue.
Example: The establishment of the neighborhood watch group in Barrigada shows an application of the village’s political capital. The collaboration between the Barrigada residents, their Vice Mayor, Guam Crime Stoppers Coordinator Officer Paul Tapao, and other coordinators created a new resource, a proactive approach to combating crime in their village (PDN, Feb. 10, 2014).
Healthy interactions to make people feel welcome, Social networks, Tapping into the resources of certain groups, The sense of who you know in this agency who might be able to help us get things done.
Why it is a community capital? The Social Capital reflects the concept of community cohesion. This involves the connections among groups and organizations, mutual trust, and reciprocity in actions. A healthy community has a sense of a shared future and motivation to work together. For instance, two groups with separate but similar goals can work together to give access to the other’s resources to accomplish those goals.
Example: The village of Barrigada has a strong social capital as what is reflected when they organized a neighborhood watch group, which started in response to a burglary-murder in their village on December 2012. Village crime has been curbed as the watch groups conduct patrols around their neighborhoods and provide criminal activity tips and alerts on their Facebook group (PDN, Feb. 10, 2014).
Barrigada Hagatña Mangilao
Technological advancements, Digitization of Information, Modernization of Tools and Infrastructural Resources, Use of Technology to Run a More Efficient Community
Why it is a community capital? The Digital Capital involves the modernization of how information is shared, stored, and applied. As advanced technology (better computers, upgraded tools and machines, more innovative ways to communicate) becomes available, new channels and resources are created for knowledge to be efficiently applied to community solutions.
Example: The Guam Memorial Hospital has recently received $1.3 million to shift from paper medical records to electronic ones (PDN, Mar. 6, 2014). This means more reliable data storage and more efficient data retrieval.
 Emery, M., Fey, S. & Flora, C.B. (2006) Using Community Capitals to Develop Assets for Positive Community Change. CD Practice, (13). Retrieved from: http://srdc.msstate.edu/.