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.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Indicators of Spirituality

A Call for Papers crossed my inbox recently and got me to thinking about indicators of spirituality as part of quality-of-life measurements. First, here's the call for papers:

APPLIED RESEARCH IN QUALITY OF LIFE: OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF QUALITY OF LIFE STUDIES – ISQOLS
www.isqols.org

CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST IN A SPECIAL EDITION ON SPIRITUALITY, RELIGION & QOL

Professors Mark Peterson, Dave Webb and Rick Sawatzky would like to invite authors to submit a one-page expression of interest for a special edition of ARQOL focusing on the theme Spirituality, Religion and QOL.

Focus of special edition: Our goal as co-editors of this special edition is to advance knowledge in the area by bringing together in one forum the latest thinking in the area.

While we invite expressions of interest relating to any aspect of Spirituality, Religion and QOL, we are particularly interested in receiving papers that in the context of QOL explore the conceptual structure and subsequent operationalization of ‘spirituality’ and ‘religiosity’.

Who can submit? We welcome contributions from the many disciplines represented in the ISQOLS database.

Publication consideration is not restricted to current ISQOLS members but it will be a condition of publication that authors be members of ISQOLS at the time of publication.

Please submit an electronic copy of your one-page extended abstract by 28 March 2008.


We've mentioned indicators of religious attendance and spirituality before, most notably in this article on data sources about religions and this discussion of how Pikes Peak used indicators on religion to combat erroneous perceptions of their community.

However, neither discussion really captured the dimension of spirituality as a measure of the quality of an individual's life, or how you could develop indicators to measure such a thing on a community-wide basis. I'm not sure what's out there in this arena -- just a very quick look brought me to George Barna's The Index of Leading Spiritual Indicators, a 1996 book I haven't yet read (but I ordered a copy just to see what the author had to say.)

Has anyone explored spirituality as a dimension in your quality of life indicators? Have you included it in surveys of happiness? Is this an important aspect of community indicators that we ought to be exploring (noting that at the time of this post, it's the beginning of the New Hampshire primaries in selecting candidates for the next American president, a contest in which religion at least has played a significant role to date.)

Thoughts, anyone?


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