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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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, March 3, 2009

NAPC Conference: Community Planning 101

On Monday afternoon, the National Association of Planning Councils held a workshop called Community Planning 101.

Community planning as performed by planning councils is not defined by organizational structure, collaborative partnerships, funding streams, functional areas, topics under discussion, or the kinds of flowcharts you might see in an analytical definition. Especially in today's rapidly-shifting environment when technology, tools, and information are transforming before our eyes.

Instead, something else defines the work.

Peter Stoddard said, "“Planning councils are defined primarily by their agency value structures." 

The NAPC defines those values as follows:

1. Commitment to community and involvement of a broad and diverse constituency
2. Comprehensive perspective reflected in decisions and actions
3. Inclusive decision-making that strives for consensus
4. Diverse viewpoints respected and encouraged in decisions and actions
5. Positive working relationships with all sectors of the community
6. Objective data and information used to support decisions and action
7. Focus on systems change and sustainable, long-term solutions
8. Principled leadership producing measurable results

More information on community planning and planning councils is available at


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