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.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Londrina, Brazil and Using Community Indicators for Transformation


Tuesday this week I met with representatives of the Fórum Desenvolve Londrina (roughly the Londrina, Brazil Development Forum). Londrina is a city of about a half-million people in the state of Paraná, Brazil.We had gone down to Paraná a few years ago to help them launch a community indicators project, and they had last come up to Jacksonville to see us in 2006.

They're doing some impressive work. Their Manual de Indicadores de Desenvolvimento Londrina 2008 (PDF) begins with a vision:

“Londrina 2034: uma comunidade ativa e articulada, construindo uma cidade humana, segura e saudável, tecnologicamente avançada, integrada com a região Norte do Paraná e globalmente conectada, com uma economia diversificada e dinâmica promovendo o equilíbrio social, cultural e ambiental.”

(Londrina 2034: an active, connected community, building a humane, safe, healthy, and technologically advanced city, integrated with the entire North Paraná region and connected globally, with a diverse and dynamic economy promoting a social, cultural and environmental balance.)

They use their indicators report to:

– Fomentar as ações comunitárias;
– Estimular a comunidade para melhoria da qualidade de vida;
– Facilitar o direcionamento de atitudes para implantação de projetos;
– Detalhar melhor a situação por área especifica;
– Intensificar a comunicação da comunidade.

  • Encourage community action;
  • Stimulate the community to improve the quality of life;
  • Facilitate change in attitudes towards project implementation;
  • Provide details of the current situation in specific areas of the community; and
  • Enhance community communication.
Their indicators reports are accompanied by annual studies. Last year's study was on providing opportunities for all in business development, and a task force is currently working on implementing the principal ten recommendations from that study. The new study is on human mobility -- looking at transportation systems from a broad perspective, including roadways and public transit but also including sidewalks and pedestrian traffic in an overall examination of how people get around in their community.

They've been working hard to align the business, government, and university sectors of their community to create cooperative partnerships and a shared community agenda. They're doing some pretty amazing work, and demonstrating the universality of a community change model structured around community indicators.

If you speak Portuguese, take a look at the work they're doing. Ary Sudan told me that the model is spreading to other cities across Brazil as the country moves through a remarkable transformation into a global power. If you don't speak Portuguese, now would be a good time to learn.

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