When people in the community identify Indicators that are important to them, the Indicators are more likely to carry personal and operational meaning than when social scientists who are removed physically, emotionally, and cognitively from the community identify theoretical constructs that are significant only to an academic community. Citizens need to identify community and civic indicators that are meaningful to them. Virtually any area, conceptual or physical, could be a source of Indicators. And in any area, it will be important to think of what possible actions would be possible if the indicators were adopted. What could be accomplished with the information? Who could use the information? What resonance could the information have with various people and groups? The real work begins after the Indicators have been identified. The Indicators must be measured, discussed, and publicized. They can be used to develop policy and projects that address them.
Text: Douglas Schuler