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Measuring Progress: Community Indicators and the Quality of Life Journal

Swain, D., and D. Hollar

Year: 2003

Keywords: Quality of life, sustainability, performance measures

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Abstract

As communities and local governments increasingly have become concerned about quality?of?life issues, community indicators have become a widely used tool to measure the status of the quality of life and progress being made toward improving it. Indicators provide a vehicle for understanding and addressing community issues from a holistic and outcomes?oriented perspective. They are useful, within the context of an overall community?improvement process, both as a planning tool, based on a community's vision, and as an evaluation tool to measure progress on steps taken toward improvement. Their usefulness is maximized when they are both directly tied to public?policy and budget decision making and when the community feels a sense of ownership of the indicators through direct citizen involvement with them. This article briefly describes four major approaches to community?indicators work, and then in more detail, illustrates one of the approaches called “quality of life.” This approach is illustrated with experiences of the Jacksonville (Florida) Community Council Inc. (JCCI), a pioneer and leader in the community?indicators movement.

Journal Citation

Swain, D., and D. Hollar. 2003. Measuring progress: community indicators and the quality of life. International Journal of Public Administration 26(7): 789-814.

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