The Community Adaptability Tool (CAT): A guide to using the CAT to secure the wealth and wellbeing of rural communities

Anthony Hogan, Dean Carson, Jen Cleary, Doris Carson, Rob Mercer, David Donnelly, Kim Houghton, Robert Tanton, Rebecca Philips

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Aims/objectives: The aim of this report is to guide communities in the use of the Community Adaptability Tool to assess their socio-economic sustainability in the face of many change processes.

Methods used: In an earlier stage of this project, the Community Adaptability Tool was developed by examining the extent to which information on the economic, demographic and sociologic components of communities could produce useful socio-economic indicators to inform local decision making. The Community Adaptability Tool has been tested in four communities to a level at which it is usable and reusable by the project team to generate believable scenarios for local futures. This information has been reported in Hogan et al. (2014). This report now guides communities in how they can use the tool to inform future planning.

Key findings: There are four key phases in the process: community engagement (which occurs throughout the process); demographic analyis; economic analyis; and the survey and choice model to inform development of the decisions support tool. Each of these phases is described in detail in Chapters 2-5 to allow communities to follow this process in their own community.

Implications for relevant stakeholders: The report will support communities to use the Community Adaptability Tool to identify existing data sources, collect additional data and learn how they can use this information to inform planning for their future. This will assist communities to adapt to the changes that they are facing and achieve the best possible outcomes.

Recommendations: The Community Adaptability Tool is now available to support communities to adapt to socioeconomic change. The next step is to promote the research findings to support and encourage community decision makers to adopt the Community Adaptability Tool and its’ benefits in planning for their future.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
PublisherRural Industries Research and Development Corporation
Number of pages142
ISBN (Print)978-1-74254-658-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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