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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Contextual Indicators for Health Disparities

From our friends on the NNIP listserve:

The MCH Information Resource Center, funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), is pleased to announce the 2007 DataSpeak Internet audio conference series, Contextual Analysis, Part 2: Methods for Understanding and Interpreting Multilevel Analysis, to be held on Wednesday, June 6, 2007 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This program will be the second in a three-part series on contextual analysis, with the third program to be broadcast on July 11, 2007. To register for this program, go to:

More information on this program is available at:

Program Overview: This DataSpeak program is the second in a three-part series on the use of contextual analysis, an approach for assessing the effect of contextual, or neighborhood, characteristics along with individual-level factors in explaining disparities in health outcomes.

Each program in the series features one of several university-based researchers funded by the MCHB in the Health Resources and Services Administration to explore the effect of neighborhoods on our country’s relatively high infant mortality rate as compared to other industrialized countries and wide racial disparities in infant mortality and preterm birth. This series is intended to provide public health professionals with background and knowledge of concepts and statistical analysis techniques to begin developing and adapting the approach to their specific States and communities.

The first program in the series, broadcast on May 16th, presented an overview of contextual analysis, including discussion of how neighborhoods are defined, what sources of data are available at the neighborhood level, and how neighborhood conditions can affect health.

This second program will describe several different multilevel analysis techniques, the advantages and disadvantages of these different approaches, examples of their use for the analysis of preterm birth data, and the interpretation of statistical results.

The third program in the series, to be broadcast on July 11, will include real-world examples of analyses from the research sites funded by MCHB, the resources needed to implement these types of analyses, and the varied potential uses of multilevel modeling other than preterm birth and low birth weight outcomes.


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