Communities Across the United States: Indicator Projects
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Key Indicator Systems: Other National and Subnational Systems Offer Insights for the United States

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In 2011 the Government Accountability Office issued a lengthy report examining the experiences of national and subnational indicator systems in anticipation of creating a U. S. system of indicators. Several of the systems examined in this report are shared on this scoop.it page.

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Truckee Meadows Tomorrow: Quality of Life Indicators

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This indicator collection from Truckee Meadows, Nevada, is remarkable for its depth. Ten indicators expand to 52 which then unfold to 200. A few of these lack current data.

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CAN Community Dashboard: Greater Austin and Travis County, Texas

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The upper left tab, "community dashboard at a glance." organizes the material. Each indicator page includes "the story behind the indicator," "some local efforts to improve this indicator," and subtopics with additional data.

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CommunitiesCount: King County, Washington [Seattle]

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Data on each topic page is accompanied by "Notes, Sources, and Related Links" at the bottom.

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Children's Report Card: Sacramento County, California

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Use the tabs across the top. Data is accompanied by "How are we doing?" and "Why is this important?"

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Greater Portland Pulse: 4-county regional data

Steve Wien's insight:

The Greater Portland Pulse website introduces data with nine indicator icons. Each of these includes sub-indicator data with sections on "significance," "finding and trends," "drivers" (factors influencing indicators), and "sources." Data can be queried by ethnicity, age,  low income, and geography via tabs in the left-hand column.

 

The site provides contextual population data in the "Our Region" tab at the top, and develops stories from data under the "Data Stories" tab. An Oct. 2011 pdf report is available under the "Reports" tab. The website also provides insight into the process of indicator selection as each subindicator concludes with a list of factors under consideration ("developmental") and those which have been discontinued ("retired").

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Virginia Performs

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Use the tabs across the top of the web page. Community data from this Virginia site is accompanied by the questions "Why is this important?", "How are we doing?", "What is the State's Role?", and "Data Definitions and Sources." The multiple data sources are listed at http://vaperforms.virginia.gov/extras/metaData.php.

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Vital Signs 2013 Update: Measuring the Vitality of the South Wood County Area

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In recent years this Wisconsin community hit hard times. In response it used data to data tell its story and support its recovery . Download the pdf from this link.

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Community Indicators: Central Ohio

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The introduction and overview page provides orientation.

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Madison Neighborhood Indicators Project

Steve Wien's insight:

The Madison, Wisconsin, Neighborhood Indicators Project offers data at planning district and neighborhood association levels. Click on the  "pdf reports" tab and select a neighborhood to see 1) a demographic profile, 2) the indicators, and 3) a list of indicator definitions. Reports present data but do not interpret it.

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New Haven, CT

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The Greater New Haven area lies half way between New York City and Boston. It includes New Haven and its inner ring and outer ring suburbs. In 2013 the area published its first “Greater New Haven Community Index.” The index evaluates community indicators and demographics, and disaggregates data across geographies including the neighborhoods within New Haven. Survey data complement other data.

 

An 8-page executive summary, “Calibrating the Community,” gives an overview of the 93-page report. The report cohesively presents a large amount of data in well formatted tables and graphs. Its first three chapters are particularly well written.

 

Census tract data is used to llustrate differences among neighborhoods within New Haven, neighborhoods which vary in  demographics and income levels. The report concludes by stating it, “does not advocate for specific policies,” but provides examples of how other communities address issues.

 

The DataHaven web page provides additional information to complement the full report.

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Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project

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The Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project provides indicator reports from 2004 - 2010 plus individual policy briefs and focus reports. I studied the 2006 report. The scope of the report is the greater Philadelphia (PA) - Camden (NJ) area and the surrounding eight counties.

 

A consistent format provides a page per indicator with an insightful explanation, map and table. The 2006 report did not include civic participation, but the home page provides a "community indicators" tab to other reports with this indicator. That tab provides a list of indicators for each topic.

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