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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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, December 12, 2007

The Science of Indicators

I'd like you to take a moment and read this article by Mallen Baker on indicators and communication. It comes from a business perspective rather than a community perspective, but the processes and principles should seem really familiar.

In the article, called "Responsibility reporting – Now write a shorter letter, better," Baker discussed how people are determining which indicators to report.

The clincher is found in the last paragraph -- "The question is whether we have been trying too hard to make this kind of communication into a science, when really it is art."

What's your feedback? Are we working on the science of community indicators, or the art? In my experiences, the art of community indicators consists in transforming a largely academic exercise into something that resonates with the community. How have you seen that happen?


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