We contend that the way in which these elements interact within any community may be modelled within a multidimensional framework with standardised ‘elements’, in such a way that the ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ points in the structure may be identified. A ‘diagnostic tool’, which brings together research capacity and local knowledge of community residents, will assist community members and policy makers alike in identifying points at which timely intervention will achieve desired community goals (Kilpatrick et al. 2003; Kilpatrick and AbbottChapman 2005).