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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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, May 5, 2008

Alliterative Aspects of Community Indicators Reports

Why do community indicators reports embrace alliteration so often? Does it help?

The first alliteration I remember was the "3 E's" framework -- usually Economy, Ecology, and Equity. There's a site called the 3 E initiative that's starting to add community indicators to their work. The framework has been used by a number of different community indicators projects, including this one from my old home town of Bloomington, Indiana: (Performance managers use three e's as well -- economics, effectiveness, efficiency -- so the use of mnemonic devices is widespread.)

A fourth E was added by some -- "Engagement" -- dealing with the civic health of the community. Then Education. I never saw a report above 5 E's, though I may have missed an example or two.

Then it was the Three P's of People, Place, and Prosperity. Some started with the three P's, like South Florida, and some moved from 3 E's to 3 P's, like

Now I just saw a new report released that raises the alliterative bar for everyone else. The Redmond Community Indicators report has not three, not four, but EIGHT C's:

  • Conserve
  • Choices
  • Commerce
  • Connections
  • Character
  • Centers
  • Culture
  • Community

Can anyone top that? Soon this site will be a must-have for any indicators toolkit:

(In all seriousness, take a look at what each of these projects are doing. Good work, everyone!)


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