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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Musing on Indicators

Today seems like a good day to look around and see what other people are saying about indicators. A quick blog scan shows the following:

Nancy Kress looks at quality of life indicators, their relationship to oil consumption, and whether we are surprised by the correlations.

The United Nations Environment Programme has a new chart available on the global human development indicators, a portion of which is reproduced below:

The Jurga Report reminds us that Progressive Farmer magazine has named the top rural places to live in America, using a series of 10 indicators. Fran Jurga says, "The top 10 rural counties are ranked based on rural quality-of-life indicators such as great schools, access to health care, low crime and affordable farmland. In 2008, the editors of The Progressive Farmer added extra criteria by focusing on counties that have been able to protect farmland, control growth pressure from urban and suburban areas, and strike a good balance between agriculture, manufacturing and modern conveniences."

There's a new article on Woodpeckers as reliable indicators of bird richness, forest health and harvest which I'm trying to think about as a possible companion to the warning about frog-dumping.

EcoSpace Conscious Community discusses "creating the conditions for sustainability to happen", based on Permaculture Design. "Leading designer and permaculture teacher, Larry Santoyo, calls these characteristics “the indicators of sustainability”. “If we use these indicators as a checklist in our own lives, we, too can start to become sustainable”, he says. By examining the systems in which we participate (home, school, work, play, community, etc) and seeing where improvements can be made, we can create the conditions for sustainability to happen."

Christian Renaud suggests that New York merchants accepting euros is a leading indicator of a global currency shift. Another article on gender indicators at policy, programme, and project levels deserves a look. Yet another discusses New Energy Indicators for Transport:The Way Forward.

And that's just a sampling from this week. The web is abuzz with indicators. This suggests, to me, the need to bring together these conversations to create something more than isolated conversations. What do you think?


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