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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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, July 30, 2008

Rochester Launches Community Indicators Project

From the Rochester Area Community Foundation comes this report of a new initiative I thought readers might be interested in:

Community Matters - Joined Forces

The Community Foundation and United Way prepare to launch a community indicators program for greater Rochester.

A new method of problem solving and decision making that allows for valuable input from the entire community will soon be inplace in greater Rochester. A community indicators program developed jointly by Rochester Area Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Rochester is currently in the planning phase. The initiative is expected to officially launch in the fall.

Community indicators are systematic measures of the overall health and well-being of a community, presented in a way that focuses community attention on critical needs and moves the discussion of solutions from general opinions to fact-based actions. The ultimate goal is a more efficient and effective response to our community’s problems.

As a first step, existing data is being examined in twelve critical categories: financial well-being; children and youth; education; the economy; community engagement; community safety; health; environment; arts and culture; housing; transportation; and technology. The target region includes Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.
Recently, the community indicators program has been given the name ACT Rochester, which stands for Achieving Community Targets. The new name conveys the sense that data and information must be collected and turned into community action.

More than 100 community organizations and agencies are now engaged in a series of community consultations designed to provide input on the selection of measures as well as the overall program. Eventually, active community forums and debates will be encouraged to address the implications of the data. A website will also be developed to highlight the data and offer additional opportunities for community participation.

The Center for Governmental Research has been hired to advise on data elements, and Logical Solutions has been retained to design and launch the project’s new website.

Planning for this ambitious program has been guided by a joint Community Foundation-United Way task force under the leadership of Margaret S├ínchez, immediate past chair of the Community Foundation’s board of directors. Ed Doherty, vice president of community programs for the Community Foundation, and Dawn Borgeest, senior vice president and chief corporate affairs officer for United Way, are charged with moving the project forward during its development over the next several months.

Both the Community Foundation and United Way have pledged equal, long-term support to ACT Rochester. Leaders of the two organizations hope their partnership will provide not only a vehicle for enhanced service to the community, but also an example for other community collaborations.


Post a Comment