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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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 24, 2007

Redefining Progress

There's something new at Redefining Progress. Already well known for their work on the Genuine Progress Indicator, their work on sustainability lets you test your Ecological Footprint and your Office Footprint (or get a more in-depth Ecological Footprint Analysis.) In addition, they have kid-friendly information in their Kids Footprint section.

What's new (to me) is the section on Ecological Fishprints. In their words, this effort seeks to do the following:

In collaboration with Daniel Pauly and the Sea Around Us Project at the University of British Columbia, Redefining Progress is working to adapt the popular ecological footprint tool to more accurately quantify the impact of capture fisheries and aquaculture on marine ecosystems. Current global footprint accounts show that our use of fisheries is sustainable, clearly at odds with the reality of widespread overfishing. Our adaptation—the Ecological Fishprint—is a research tool for measuring the spatial extent of humanity’s appropriation of marine ecosystems that remedies some of the known shortcomings of standard footprint analysis. Our Ecological Fishprint tool can be used to assess the ecological impacts and overall sustainability of fisheries production and consumption at the global and national levels.

Pretty neat stuff. You can read more about it here.

While you're visiting their site, be sure and check out the Community Indicators Handbook. Now in its second edition, this work is a great overview of the field. You can read the introduction at Tyler Norris' website here. The introduction lays out clearly what community indicators are, why we measure them, what they do for communities, and even adds a glossary of terms.

There's more to discover at Redefining Progress, including their sections on Sustainability Indicators and their Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative. A number of publications are available in PDF format for download.

So check it out. They've got a new development director, and are looking for support for their work. Armando, good luck with the fund-raising!


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