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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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, March 30, 2009

Call for Proposals: Seminar on Innovative Approaches to Turn Statistics into Knowledge

This looks really interesting:


Note: Presentation proposals are due before April 15.

Main meeting page:

While dynamic graphics and communication tools are at the heart of the seminar, the meeting will also focus on a broader range of tools. The seminar will also include the use of videos, as explored by GapMinder and others, and participative approaches, as seen in some web 2.0 initiatives; and – although innovative tools are themselves of great interest, and worthy of being presented at the seminar – the focus of the seminar will be on innovative applications of tools, for example, so-called story-telling applications.

The seminar is hosted by the US Census Bureau and is arranged jointly by the Census Bureau, the OECD and the World Bank. It will be held on 15-16 July in the headquarters of the US Census Bureau located in Suitland, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC (metro station "Suitland" on green line).

It will be a two-day seminar in plenum, with no parallel sessions. There will be around 20 presentations and discussants will be allocated to the sessions. A few panels may be organized. The conference will be video recorded, allowing other interested parties to watch it later on the seminar website.

The seminar should contribute to the development of tools to help people transform statistics into knowledge and decisions. A first condition for statistics to be used this way is that relevant statistics become known, available, and understood by wider audiences. The seminar is held in the context of the OECD Global Project on “Measuring the Progress of Societies”. It should contribute to one of the goals quoted in the Istanbul Declaration: "produce a broader, shared, public understanding of changing conditions, while highlighting areas of significant change or inadequate knowledge".

The seminar can be seen as a continuation of the previous seminars organized in Rome and Stockholm and of the first International Exhibition on “Innovative Tools to Transform Information into Knowledge”, organized during the second OECD World Forum on “Statistics, Knowledge and Policy” (Istanbul, 27-30 June 2007).

We want to look at tools and applications for making statistics more popular, while avoiding the pitfalls of populism, over-simplification or propaganda. We want to base all these initiatives on scientific standards, observing the basic principles of objectivity and good communication. We would therefore welcome experts in statistical methodology, cognitive science, and communication as active participants in the workshop.


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