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.

The Jacksonville Community Council (JCCI) understands indicators and community change, with more than 25 years of producing the annual Quality of Life Progress Report for Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region, and two decades of helping other communities develop their own sustainable indicators projects. JCCI consultants give you the information you need to measure progress, identify priorities for action, and assess results.

I'd like to talk with you personally about how we can help. E-mail me at
ben@jcci.org, call (904) 396-3052, or visit CommunityWorks for more information. From San Antonio to Siberia, we're ready and willing to assist.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Effective Community Indicators

Lia Gudaitis shares some of her work in Tools for Action: Analysing the Effectiveness of Community Indicators Projects in Realising Community Empowerment. In her blog, she talks about the work she did with The Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) in Canada.

(Side note: Scott Graham from SPARC BC presented on "Using Community Indicators to Mobilize Action" at the 2007 Community Indicators Consortium conference -- he represented the Council well.)

Lia suggests that, in her research, "outcomes of indicator projects varied as much as the indicator projects themselves. " That poses both an opportunity and a challenge to community indicators efforts -- how do you build in measures of your own effectiveness in galvanizing community change?

Some folks have, as evidenced by the CIC Innovation Awards Winners, communities whose commitment to community change through indicators have led to exciting (and measurable) results. For other communities, their indicators projects are too new see results yet.

But the opportunity/challenge exists to design your indicators effort so that it is accessible to the community, empowers people to make change, and measures what change is being made. For those who do so, congratulations -- and share your stories, please.

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