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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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

Community Indicators and Performance Measures Update

A number of initiatives are underway in improving government performance measurement systems and linking those systems with community indicators. If you are interested in thinking about how your community measures the effectiveness and efficiency of government services, and would like to bring those trend lines together with trends on civic engagement and community governance, and wrap it all under a picture of how the community is doing in relation to an overall vision of improvement, you need to be aware of several initiatives and opportunities.

First of all, two conferences are coming up that you should seriously think about attending. The Community Indicators Consortium will be meeting September 30 - October 2 at their Seventh Annual Conference in Seattle. The conference will focus on four aspects of effective indicator efforts:

  • From Planning to Implementation
  • Creating Partnerships and Crossing Boundaries
  • Promoting Social Change
  • Integrating Indicators & Performance Measures
I'll be providing a half-day workshop on the 30th and will be part of at least one other session during the conference, so if you're planning on attending please look me up and say hello. CIC will be sharing a great deal about its Integrating Community Indicators and Performance Measures initiative, including an awards presentation and discussion of its Real Stories project.

The AGA will be having its 2009 Performance Management conference November 5-6, also in Seattle. Sessions include:
  • Lessons Learned about Strategic Planning and Performance Management
  • Listening to the Numbers: How to Use Performance Data to Improve Service Delivery
  • Using Performance Measures to Improve Service Delivery
  • Public Interest in Government Accountability and Performance
  • What’s New: Toolkit for Preparing an Award-Winning Performance Report
  • Let’s Take a Look at Performance Based Management Reporting
  • Integrating Performance Measures and Community Indicators to Enhance Governance, Citizen Engagement and Results
  • The Chief Executive Officer’s Strategic Partnership: Critical to Driving Transformational Change
  • Performance 2.0—From Measurement to Management
Evie Barry says "Don’t miss this annual event if you are starting to think about performance reporting for your community or you are a seasoned performance reporter wanting to learn about innovative ideas from other governments."

You'll also want to take some time to provide your input to the GASB SEA effort. Go to GASB's website for more information and instructions on how to comment on their Proposed Suggested Guidelines for Voluntary Reporting, SEA Performance Information. Deadline is October 30, so you need to hurry. More information is available at the AGA blog.


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