Section 4 - Indicator Projects and Resources
The purpose of this section is to introduce participants to additional criteria and tools for evaluating sustainability indicators. We will also examine several different frameworks for sets of sustainability indicators, as well as potential sources of indicator data. Finally, participants will be given an overview of communities and organizations that are working on indicators and other sustainability projects.

By the end of this section, the participants will be familiar with different criteria and frameworks for indicators, know some of the many ways that communities have worked on sustainability and indicators, and be familiar with some of the tools for evaluating sustainable projects and indicators.

Tips for Teaching/Key Elements

The important concepts to emphasize are:

1) Indicator sets should balance the economy, environment, and society. Category-based frameworks tend to reinforce disconnected thinking. Goal-vision matrices encourage connected thinking.

2) Although there is data available at the global, national, and state/province level for indicators, the best source of data may be local sources such as town halls, local employment offices, and local health agencies.

3) Because sustainable community projects require that diverse members of a community work together, facilitation is an essential element in the process.

4) A number of communities and organizations have developed guides to getting started. The Resource section describes some of these guides. The guides can be helpful, but should be modified to fit the needs of each community.

5) There are a number of economic tools that communities are using to build sustainability. These emphasize that a sustainable global economy is dependent on healthy local economies.

6) There are a number of tools available for evaluating the sustainability of individual lifestyles, communities and projects. The Resource section describes where to get more information on these tools.

7) There are many organizations that can provide support for communities dealing with the issue of sustainability. Although some funding is available, in general, community projects that are mainly self-supported are the most successful.

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