Measuring progress from theory to practice a community perspective
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Measuring Progress: From Theory to Practice A Community Perspective. NatStats Sydney Friday, September 17, 2010. A Community Perspective. The most important community issues regarding measuring progress

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Measuring Progress: From Theory to Practice A Community Perspective

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Measuring Progress:From Theory to Practice A Community Perspective



Friday, September 17, 2010

A Community Perspective

  • The most important community issues regarding measuring progress

  • Are we measuring the right issues in the community and if so, are they being measured in the right way?

  • What is the most practical issue that could be solved immediately?

GDP/GNP as a measure of progress?

"Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."

Robert F. Kennedy Address, University of Kansas, March 18, 1968

  • John Stuart Mill (1850s)

    "Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness.”

What do we mean by community indicators?Community Indicators are not simply about the progress of communities but developed, implemented, reviewed and sustained by a collaboration of widespread community representatives.

The idea of people taking charge of their own measurements of progress is a powerful and far reaching innovation that can bring about a new sense of civic engagement.

Sustainable Seattle

Challenges for Australian CWB indicators

  • Stronger coordination and wider dissemination of knowledge and good practice models, including the continuing development of MAP2.0, a uniform national wellbeing framework, and the development of equivalent state level measures;

  • Wider community input into, and debate about, key measures of progress and wellbeing to ensure their wider legitimacy and to promote community engagement and ownership;

Challenges for Australian CWB indicators

  • Building progress and wellbeing measures more directly into government planning and policy making (rather than their being an optional, external reference point) and improving the capacity of those in government and the community to understand and use them;

  • Stronger national and state level efforts to harness important administrative data of government agencies that is currently incomplete or inaccessible;

Challenges for Australian CWB indicators

  • Developing better indicators and data collections in a number of important but poorly covered areas such as: subjective wellbeing generally; social capital, social inclusion, and community connectedness; civic participation; democracy; citizenship; human rights;

  • More attractive and accessible presentation of progress and wellbeing data through education materials and especially websites.

Challenges for Australian CWB indicators

  • Development of a national research program on progress and wellbeing indicators that is long term and collaborative;

  • Continuing and strengthening Australian international collaboration on indicator development, through bodies like the OECD, the UN and the EU, but also with less developed countries in our region.

Most Practical Issue

Australian Network of Community Indicators Practitioners and Researchers


Sue West (CIV)

[email protected]

Community Well-Being in an Unwell World

Goodna Service Integration Project (SIP)

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