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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Using Indicators in Memphis

I ran across this blog article from Memphis and enjoyed its call to action on community indicators.

From A Field Guide to Urban Memphis:

part of the problem is the one of the mosquito in the nudist colony... where to start?

part of the problem is connecting people in need with institutions and programs that work. there are so many good programs - best practices - that we know work locally and nationally. we know that investing in early childhood is one very financially and socially responsible answer to the problems our community faces.

part of the problem is that we have no grasp of what the future holds. we know some trends in our community - decreasing pregnancy rates, rising crime rates, and community indicators (like being the most obese and sedentary city in the country) that show the health and well-being of people here. what's interesting is that we do know what the city will look like in the future if we do nothing. we'll have more of the same. more poverty, increasing disparity between the rich and poor, more segregation, more disenfranchisement, more immigrants, more people with higher incomes exiting the city and county for locations within the MSA... in short, we'll look the same, only worse. if we do nothing, current trends will continue.

however, if we do what we know works, our city can look vastly different in twenty years.

That's straightforward. "If we do nothing, current trends will continue." I like it.


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