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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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, June 10, 2009

New Indicators Report: Rochester, NY

ACT Rochester (, a partnership of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Rochester, has launched a new community indicators website with "a wealth of information for everyone from policy makers to parents," according to Jennifer Leonard, Executive Director of the Community Foundation.

From ACT Rochester's website:

The mission of ACT Rochester is to stimulate community solutions to our most critical challenges by changing the culture of public discussion and debate. This will be achieved through focused, independent and objective measurement of key community indicators, through diverse and timely dialogue and by promoting results-oriented actions.

We hope that the comprehensive data and other information contained here will serve as a focal point for formal and informal community forums and inspire you and others in the community to share comments and participate in polls, which will be added to the Website in the coming months. In addition, we will be scheduling a variety of community discussions and activities beginning in the fall of 2009.

The name ACT Rochester urges action, specifically in response to the issues highlighted by the data. The name also stands for Achieving Community Targets, which signals the potential to establish specific targets or goals for improvement. These targets will be the result of the community involvement process, and will form the future development of ACT Rochester.

ACT Rochester currently covers a seven-county region: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne and Wyoming. This Website contains indicators, analysis of trends, summaries of community efforts to address issues and numerous listings of community resources.

It's a nice website -- the structure is easy to navigate, the indicators are clear and easily readable, the explanatory notes (What does this measure?, Why is this important?, How is our region performing?) well-written, and the options to customize the chart or download the data as a *.csv file are greatly appreciated.

The site has a wealth of information, and it's worth taking a look. Nice job!


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