Indicator development guide
Monitoring outcomes: achieving goals
In May 1999, the City of Onkaparinga received support from the Local Government Research and Development Scheme to develop a suite of indicators designed to measure progress towards social, economic and environmental objectives in the region.
They produced a useful guide to developing community indicators.
You can learn more about their experience here.
- Part one: Introduction to strategic indicators
- Part two: The indicator development process
- Part three: The indicator suite
This document is available in pdf format; it can be downloaded as a complete 73-page document, or in the following sections:
Many local and regional authorities invest considerable resources and effort identifying what is important to the community, and reflect these in a strategic plan. Whether they are called strategic direction statements, community plans, Local Agenda 21 plans or something else, they illustrate community aims to address long-term economic, environmental and social needs. They provide a reference point for councils and other community stakeholders to define the roles, strategies and actions required to achieve desired outcomes. Strategic planning also requires remaining informed about what is being achieved in a community and what requires attention.
In analysing how well placed local and regional authorities are to track such progress, this section asks:
- Why should we monitor strategic directions?
- What is wrong with the way we measure progress?
- What are the drivers and indicators?
- What are the benefits of using indicators?
- What is the difference between strategic indicators and corporate performance indicators/indicators used for State of Environment reporting?
- Who should be involved?
- What does it cost?
- What are the critical success factors?
- Where might the process fail?
- Who else is working on community indicator projects?
- How interested are councils in using indicators?
Key elements of the indicator development process are:
- Defining indicator scope, to clarify their purpose and strategic direction.
- Defining a framework for organising indicators and determining criteria for selection.
- Identifying potential indicators.
- Choosing the indicators.
- Evaluating against the criteria.
- Plotting indicators to collect and analyse data, and documenting results.
- Communicating the findings
- Reviewing the strategic directions.
Part three: The indicator suitePart three: The indicator suite
The Indicator suite is presented in two sections.
Section one contains the strategic indicator framework ? the relationship between strategic directions and strategic indicators, providing a summary of indicators and describing how they are linked to common strategic direction themes.
Section two provides more detail about each indicator, including:
- The title of the indicator.
- A brief rationale for its use.
- Suggested target or direction.
- Measure(s) to support the indicator.
- Where the data can be sourced.
- Comments on any limitation or uncertainty.