Making a better indicator
  • Measure what you want to be
  • Make a measure that speaks to people
  • Measure the cause, not just the effect

Talking Points
  • Need indicators that
    • measure what is important
    • can be understood by the people who need to use them
    • measure causes, not just results

We have just looked at some of the factors that go into making a good indicator; now we need to talk about how to make even better indicators. There are three things to consider when you are developing indicators.

First, indicators need to be focused on the right goal. Before you use an indicator, make sure that the indicator is truly measuring what you want to be. Some of the traditional indicators that we rely on as a society are actually measures that work counter to sustainability. We will examine one example of this later in the workshop.

Second, make sure the indicators you develop are ones that people understand and can use. We will look at an example of taking a good indicator of sustainability and making it more personal later in the workshop.

Third, when you have a group of indicators, make sure that some of them measure the causes of the problems, not just the results. We will compare several examples of indicators of cause and indicators of effects later in the workshop.
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Copyright © 1998 Maureen Hart. All rights reserved.