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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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, April 22, 2008

Call for Papers: Performance Measurement

Call for Papers
Symposium: Accountability and Performance Measurement in the Hollow State:
A Reflective Dialogue on the Evolving Role of Nonprofits in Public Service Delivery
October 23-24, 2008 in Cleveland Ohio

ASPA and ARNOVA have joined to co-sponsor a symposium directed to one of the most pressing challenges of public administration today: accountability and performance measurement in public – nonprofit partnerships. This symposium invites research directed to the challenges articulated by practitioners who are struggling with the complexities of accountability and performance measures in the new environment of third sector government, New Public Management and Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.

Symposium format and presentations will encourage dialogue between scholars and practitioners with the intention of generating a research agenda to strengthen the capacity of both sectors to engage in public service. Selected papers will be reviewed for Administration & Society as well as a special symposium of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

In their proposals scholars are asked to explore innovative efforts as well as challenges and lessons learned. Authors must show the relevance of their research for addressing the challenges of government-nonprofit partnership in the current environment. We welcome papers focusing on how new accountability measures impact public sector organizations’ capacity to manage as well as govern.

From a nonprofit perspective, we are interested in how new measures of accountability are reshaping the nonprofit sector. What impact do new measures of accountability and performance have on nonprofits and their traditional contributions to citizenship and to partnership with the public sector? In brief, this symposium is designed to encourage scholars to look for how practice can inform theory in their identification of research topics.


  • Accountability frameworks in cross-sector partnerships and networks: their impact on nonprofit-public relationships, inter-organizational partnerships, and measurement of key and intangible factors.
  • Performance measurement and governance - including the legislative process, policy development, community indicators, and/or budgeting: the integration of accountability and performance measures in the management and governance process; including program design, management, and evaluation; use of community indicators to target resources and generate strategic results for communities.
  • Strengthening the connection between mechanisms of accountability and performance: impacts of new government requirements regarding contract monitoring; for example, how will state and local governments comply with federal regulations without allowing them to become unduly onerous for provider agencies?

Examples of challenges experienced by public sector and nonprofit practitioners are posted at
the website address; scholars are welcome to consider these or identify challenges relevant to their research interests in their own communities.


To propose a paper, please send a summary of 500-600 words to All summaries should be submitted in MS Word format with a subject line of CAP symposium. The proposal should explain the relevance of the proposed research to the symposium themes. Proposals that are co-authored by teams of academics and practitioners will receive special consideration.

Abstract of 500 words to be submitted: May 1, 2008
Notification of accepted submissions: May 15, 2008
First draft due: August 1, 2008
Deadline for early registration: August 15, 2008
Full paper to be submitted: September 30, 2008
Symposium at Cleveland State University: October 23-24, 2008

FOR MORE INFORMATION regarding the symposium, including registration, accommodations, schedule, registration fees, and case study postings of practitioners,


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