Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Measuring Happiness

One of the real treats I get to read is the Journal of Happiness Studies. The indicator set I work with explicitly avoids measuring happiness, prefering instead to concentrate on quality of life as "a feeling of well-being, fulfillment, or satisfaction resulting from factors in the external environments," and then measuring the external environments.

But I'm extraordinarily curious about ways to get at the piece that's missing -- are people in my community happy? I'm not sure that always lends itself to public policy suggestions, though the opposite does appear to be true (plenty of public policies can make me unhappy, for example, but well-written, thoughtful legislation doesn't often put a smile on my face like it should.)

Howard Dratch takes on the issue of measuring happiness, in light of the BBC series called The Happiness Formula. His response is, well, skeptical, but it's an interesting read anyway.

However, he pointed the way to the World Database of Happiness. I haven't run any of the statistics out of the database, but somehow just knowing that it exists makes me happy.

So thank you, Howard.

1 comment:

  1. I think that happinies is the most important landmark in American society because If someone is happy he or she can work,can study,can help,can do everything, so It is so important be careful.