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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Hawai'i 2050

For those interested in sustainability and using indicators to promote sustainability, take a look at the Hawai'i 2050 website.

Hawai'i 2050 defines sustainability as the following:

Sustainability in Hawai‘i means achieving a quality of life that:

  • strikes a balance between economic prosperity, social and community well-being, and environmental stewardship.

  • meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

  • respects the culture, character, beauty and history of our state’s island communities.

The group is developing a vision for the state and some guiding principles. They are being informed by several interesting indicators documents and research, including the following:

  • Hawaii 2050 Issue Book (pdf) Commissioned by the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force, the Hawaii 2050 Issue Book provides fact-based research on key sustainability issues. The Issue Book contains the research and conclusions of a group of scholars at the University of Hawaii Center for Sustainability. A summary (pdf) of the Issue Book can also be downloaded.

  • UHERO Economic Information Service UHERO's Economic Information Service is a community-sponsored research program of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The EIS provides the Hawaii community with information on economic, demographic, and business trends in the State and the Asia-Pacific region. Under the service, UHERO provides a menu of forecast reports and varying levels of access to the UHERO EIS Online Database.The UHERO EIS Online Database houses up-to-date statistics on the State, county, and key external economies.

  • Environmental Indicators State Department of Health The Goals and Indicators program annually releases a report based on data collected by the Department of Health environmental programs. Environmental indicators are used to measure the quality of the environment and/or progress made toward protection of the environment.

  • Office of Environmental Quality Control Office of Environmental Quality ControlThe Environmental Report Card - includes environmental indicators, progress reports, grades, essays and agency goals

  • Quality of Life in Hawaii Report (2005) (pdf) Aloha United Way A report on the well-being of our state as reflected by key social, health, safety, educational, economic, and environmental measures. These carefully selected community indicators provide a way to monitor trends over time, both statewide and at a county level.

  • University of Hawaii Center on the Family A comprehensive collection of data and information on Hawaii’s families, children, and aging population, including Child and Family Indicators, School/Community Profiles, and Hawaii’s Aging.

  • Hawaii Kids Count University of Hawaii Center on the Family A database of information describing the status of children in Hawaii. Monitors Hawaii's progress regarding children and families by tracking key indicators over time.

  • Health Trends in Hawaii: A Profile of the Health Care System (2006) Hawaii Health Information Corporation A biennial publication providing Hawaii health care data including health care demographics, health status, the health marketplace, health resource availability and health resource utilization and also shows trends over time. Each edition features a special section, this one on children's health. Several new topics include managed care, alternative medicine, health care expenditures, the health care workforce and telemedicine.

  • State of Hawaii Data Book Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, State of HawaiiThe official summary of statistics on the social, economic, and political organization of the State of Hawaii.

  • Economic Data and Reports Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, State of Hawaii Comprehensive state and county data and reports on Hawaii’s economy, including visitor arrivals and expenditures, general fund tax revenue, economic forecasts and projections, and more.

It's a great example of using a broad range of indicators to understand a community and envision its future. Look for the Hawai‘i 2050 Sustainability Plan to be unveiled at the Hawai‘i 2050 Sustainability Summit on September 22, 2007. The summit theme is Nā Lei o Ka ‘Āina, or “The Lei of the Land.”


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