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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Citizens and Performance: Benchmarking Livability

Jonathan Walters, in this month's Governing magazine, tackles the question of community indicators and government benchmarks, and shows how it's possible to bring the two together.

From the article:

There's nothing new about aspiring to improve community well-being by trying to measure it. One of the first recognized attempts goes back to 1913. That's when the U.S. Department of Labor published its "Handbook of Federal Statistics on Children." The handbook brought scattered information on child welfare together into one place, in hopes that it would inform federal policy. Tracking broad measures of economic well-being became popular after the Great Depression. The 1960s, meanwhile, witnessed a surge of interest in data on general social and environmental health.

Check out the discussion and the examples in the article. Readers of this blog will recognize quite a few people and organizations mentioned.

Then drop me a line -- how has your community successfully integrated community indicators and performance measures?


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