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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Community Indicators for Iraq?

I don't know if you caught this conversation if you watched CNN's Republican candidate debate last night. (I didn't either, but caught the transcript here.)

Of interest to me in the conversation was the suggestion by Rudy Giuliani of an "Iraq Stat" program, a series of indicators to measure progress toward defined outcomes. Did you hear that? Have you see Baltimore's Citistat program to see how it works?

Here's the context of the remarks, about the war in Iraq:

Mr. Giuliani: I believe that this terrorist war began way back in the 1970s. They attacked us in 1993 in New York. They attacked us again in 2001 in a horrible way. And I believe that what we’re doing in Iraq, if we can get it right, is going to help reduce the risk for this country. And if we get it wrong, it’s going to be much, much worse for us.

And part of what we have to do, and we haven’t done right, is take on that responsibility of nation-building. We created that responsibility for ourselves when we overthrew Saddam Hussein, which we did very effectively. It was one of the greatest military actions in American history overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

But we didn’t accomplish the second step. People can only embrace democracy when they have an orderly existence, and we have to help province that. We didn’t want that role, but it is our role. We have to train our military to do it. We should probably have an Iraq stat program, in which we measure how many people are going to school, how many factories are open, how many people are going to back to work. We had to get into the nitty-gritty of putting an orderly society together in Iraq. It is not too late to do it. (emphasis added)

Then later he added the following, about what he would change in Washington were he elected:

MR. GIULIANI: The thing that I would do different is I would establish accountability in Washington. ... I would establish programs like I did in New York City, where I had to deal with a heavily Democratic city — FedStat programs to measure accountability.

You get what you measure. If you don’t measure success, you have failure.

What do you think about that -- indicators as the solution for Iraq? For D.C.? For the country?

(Please note this is not an endorsement of a candidate, but a discussion of a strategy that every candidate, in whichever party, could adopt.)

1 comment:

  1. There already is a Fed Stats -- it doesn't do what Rudy's talking about, but it exists.