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.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Science of Indicators

I'd like you to take a moment and read this article by Mallen Baker on indicators and communication. It comes from a business perspective rather than a community perspective, but the processes and principles should seem really familiar.

In the article, called "Responsibility reporting – Now write a shorter letter, better," Baker discussed how people are determining which indicators to report.

The clincher is found in the last paragraph -- "The question is whether we have been trying too hard to make this kind of communication into a science, when really it is art."

What's your feedback? Are we working on the science of community indicators, or the art? In my experiences, the art of community indicators consists in transforming a largely academic exercise into something that resonates with the community. How have you seen that happen?

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