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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

2009 NAPC Conference Invitation

Your invitation, from the National Association of Planning Councils!

2009 NAPC Conference: March 2-4, in Austin

Community Planning in Turbulent Times
...staying on top when the bottom falls out

Register today! Conference website Flyer Registration form

Community planning leaders and practitioners, come and enjoy outstanding national keynote speakers...three full days of conference sessions...networking and resource fair... Austin, one of America’s favorite cities!


MONDAY, March 2nd: The new Census changes and their impact..."Community Planning 101"...Mature workers seeking encore careers in nonprofits...Welcome session for newcomers...Opening reception...Dinner on the town

TUESDAY, March 3rd: The new "big picture"--drivers of community change ...featuring Jerry Friedman (Director, American Public Human Services Association) and Larry Mischel (Director, Economic Policy Institute) three topical roundtables...the NAPC Annual Meeting...the Judith Rothbaum Award recognizing excellence in using indicators for community action...Networking dinner

WEDNESDAY, March 4th: Using 21st century technology to solve 21st century problems you can implement immediately to improve information gathering, analysis, policy development, presentation of information to the community, advocacy, and community topical roundtables and networking

Make hotel reservations by February 2nd for the special rate…call 512-477-1234, the downtown Hyatt Regency. Space is limited; register soon!

Past attendees say, "I come to learn, to be inspired, and to build valuable networks with colleagues in other communities." “Even in years when budgets are tight and I can only go to one conference, this is the conference I never miss.”

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9 am-Noon, at City Hall, 301 West 2nd Street

Preparing for the impacts of the new Census changes on community planning

Speaker: Thomas L. Mesenbourg, Acting Director, U.S. Census Bureau (Washington, D.C.) or designee, and panel

The coming changes in the Census and American Community Survey; broad impact (policy, programs, funding); federal coordination; impact on local communities; how do we as local leaders prepare for these changes.

2-4 pm, your choice of two simultaneous sessions, at the hotel:

A. Community Planning 101

Speaker: Ben Warner, President, NAPC; Deputy Director, JCCI (Jacksonville, FL)
…and other NAPC Board members
For: all who are new to the field, new to NAPC, new executive directors of member organizations, or curious about how NAPC and its most-experienced practitioners view “the basics” essential for success…core values and competencies, key elements, strategies, models, and methods.

B. Tapping the Mature Workforce—Baby Boomer Retirees Seeking Encore Careers in Nonprofits
Speaker: Martha Blaine, leader of NAPC’s Mature Workforce Initiative; Board member, NAPC; Executive Director, Community Council of Greater Dallas (Dallas, TX)
For: NAPC members and others interested in this new social movement and ways to prepare their organizations and communities to welcome and benefit from this workforce. The session will include reports on NAPC’s work with The Conference Board and Civic Ventures; new research and resources; and sharing among NAPC organizations about their communities’ initial efforts.

5-6 pm, at the Hyatt:

Welcome Session for New Members and First-Time Conference Attendees
Newcomers will learn more about NAPC and the conference, meet one another and some NAPC Board members, and exchange information about their work and interests

6-7:30 pm, Hyatt Terrace and Lobby:
Conference Opening Reception

Welcome to the conference and to Austin
Participant introductions
Conversation…hors d’oeuvres…cash bar

7:30 pm Dine Arounds
Enjoy nearby Austin restaurants in groups with others from the conference


The new "big picture"
-- drivers of community change

The focus for Tuesday will be on better understanding drivers of community change -- “big-picture” issues affecting our world and our work. Two national keynote speakers will challenge and inform us. Respondent panels will relate these issues to aspects of community planning work important to local communities, including community engagement, new models, new partners, advocacy, and more. Special emphasis will be on changes as a result of the election and implications for community planning work.

8-8:50 am Breakfast roundtables and continental breakfast (lobby level)

Choice of three simultaneous small-group sessions on these topics:

A. “The Perfect Storm” – Community Engagement
What are local communities doing to better understand the enormous demographic, economic, and social changes now under way, and to engage people in community planning and action based on this understanding?
Presenters: Phil Dessauer, M.A., Executive Director, and Jan Figart, M.S.N., R.N., Associate Director, Community Service Council (Tulsa, OK)

B. Funders roundtables
Funders in a community sometimes work together in innovative ways to share information and coordinate their efforts to support work to meet community needs. A case example from DuPage, Illinois will be presented, then participants can briefly describe models in their communities.
Presenters: Candace King, Executive Director, and Philip R. Smith, President, DuPage Federation for Human Services Reform (Villa Park, IL)

C. Disaster preparedness for your organization, and for your community
Inevitably, natural or man-made disasters will happen. This session will cover key questions, how-to’s, useful planning tools, lessons learned, and the valuable roles a planning council can play as a community plans for and responds to emergencies.
Presenter: Martha Blaine, MBA, Executive Director, Community Council of Greater Dallas (Dallas, TX)

9:15-10:30 am Morning keynote speaker and discussion:
Drivers of change and what they mean for human services and local communities
Keynote speaker: Jerry Friedman, Executive Director, American Public Human Services Association

10:45 am-noon After the election...
Facilitated discussion on the emerging scene following the national elections, and local community implications and responses

12:30-1:30 pm Luncheon and NAPC Annual Meeting
(Everyone welcome…luncheon included with conference registration)

Presentation of the Judith Rothbaum Award…using social indicators for community action
Review of the year’s highlights; NAPC elections; member recognition; celebrations

1:45-4 pm Afternoon keynote speaker and discussion:
“It’s the Economy, Stupid!” U.S. and Global Changes and What They Mean for Local Communities

Keynote speaker: Larry Mishel, President, Economic Policy Institute (EPI), Washington, D.C.

4-5:30 pm Small-group discussion sessions

6:30 pm Dine Arounds…enjoy nearby Austin restaurants in groups with others from the conference



Using 21st century tools to address 21st century problems

This day’s discussions will be about becoming more effective, efficient, and persuasive using technology that is primarily free online or downloadable. In tight economic times, how can we address the problems in our communities better, easier, and without a negative impact on our bottom line? These sessions will introduce tools you can implement immediately to improve information gathering, analysis, policy development, presentation of information to the community, advocacy, and community engagement. We will learn when to use them, when not to use them, what their advantages and minefields are, and what it takes to make them effective.

8-8:50 am Breakfast roundtables and continental breakfast (lobby level)

Choice of simultaneous small-group topical sessions:

Developing new strategies in bad economic times
Some community planning organizations and other nonprofits have begun operating differently in order to survive and succeed during challenging economic times. Several specific approaches will be presented, then participants can describe their experiences and ideas.
Presenter: Patrick Linnane, retired Executive Director, The Planning Council (Milwaukee, WI)

B. Building Systems of Care for Children and Families
This session will discuss the process for building systems of care for school readiness, family counseling, neighborhood family support, and out of school time services. Governance, access, consumer choice, and development strategies will be described.
Presenter: H. Browning Spence, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Juvenile Welfare Board--the Children's Services Council of Pinellas (Pinellas, FL)

9 am
Opening session

Speaker: Ben Warner
How comfortable are we with new technology? In this session we'll use multi-input instant survey tools to discover how well we're using the web, and our current comfort levels with new tools and online social networking.

9:30 am-10:45 am Increasing effectiveness in public policy development, research, and analysis
Vanessa Sarria, Executive Director, Community Action Network (Austin, TX)

- Presenting to Affect Public Policy
Dr. Philip Huang, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department

- Using CLIKS to Chart Trends and Save Time

Speaker: Frances P. Deviney, PhD, Texas KIDS COUNT Director, Center for Public Policy Priorities

- Mapping Data Using Accessible, No-Cost Tools for Assessment and Planning
Sean Moran
, Center for Regional Development Director, Capital Area Council of Governments
Ilyanna Kadich
, GIS Analyst, Center for Regional Development, Capital Area Council of Governments

11:00-11:30 am Data Displays – 30 Examples in 30 Minutes
Speaker: Ben Warner

11:45- 12:45 pm Luncheon

1:00- 2:00 pm Using Visual Imagery to Describe the World
Interactive game showing new possibilities through new technology.
Presenter: Sunni Brown, M.P.A., BrightSpot Information Design

2:15- 3:45 pm Community Planning in a Digital World: New Methods of Community Engagement
Moderator: T
aylor Willingham, Founder of Texas Forums and Adjunct Associate Professor for Graduate Library Schools at the University of Illinois
Using blogs, Facebook, and other social media tools (bulletin boards, discussion boards, MySpace,, etc.).

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Register today!
Conference website Flyer Registration form

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National Association of Planning Councils (NAPC)
11118 Ferndale Road - Dallas, TX 75238 - 214-341-3657

NAPC is the national association that fosters the unique profession of community planning.
NAPC is committed to advancing the process of bringing people together to identify needs and work toward solutions.


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