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Community Indicators for Culture and the Arts

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1 Community Indicators for Culture and the Arts
Prof Mike Salvaris Cultural Development Network Forum 8 May 2006

2 The Victorian Community Indicators project …
a 2 year project funded by VicHealth working with local governments across Victoria to develop better measures and plans for well-being in their local communities and better ways to engage their local citizens in the process

3 Summary of presentation
Project partners and management Key goals, tasks and outcomes Background: what led to this project? Community indicators: what they are? Developing a ‘whole community’ wellbeing framework, and how to use it Engaging citizens: why and how Results so far Project milestones Visit our website:

4 Project Partners VicHealth (funder)
Victorian Local Governance Association Municipal Association of Victoria Victoria University Swinburne University Lilydale Australian Bureau of Statistics Partner Councils (10)

5 Partner Councils Bendigo Hobson’s Bay Knox Maroondah Moreland
Port Philip Surf Coast Wellington Wodonga Yarra Ranges Mike Salvaris

6 Project Reference Committee
Partners Premier’s Department Department of Victorian Communities Department of Human Services Department of Infrastructure Department of Sustainability & Environment Victorian Council of Social Service

7 Key goals of VCI Project
Better ways to measure, understand and set goals for local progress and wellbeing Better local statistics & statistical capacity, & better documenting of need ‘Whole of community’ planning reflecting community vision Stronger citizen engagement and local democracy Strengthened communities ‘Best practice’ model for Loc. Gov. (Democratic Reform) Act Better Statewide planning, local Community Plans as building blocks Build changes permanently & sustainably into government

8 Key project tasks and outcomes
Statewide local wellbeing measurement framework Best practice local statistics Guidelines and new models for community engagement and local democracy Model local Community Survey (replacing Community Satisfaction Survey) 10 Best Practice models for Community Planning Agreed links between state and local planning Ongoing training and materials Outstanding website

9 Background and context
Search for wellbeing measures beyond GDP Worldwide community indicators movement Need to strengthen democracy and community engagement VicHealth local work on health & wellbeing Changing role of Local Gov’t in Victoria Community strengthening policy growing Strategic state development policies Joined up government and planning Victorian models: need to spread learning Mike Salvaris

10 Edward Cornish, US futurist
Key ideas #1 Making the future, not ‘letting it happen’ The future does not just happen to us; we ourselves create it by what we do and what we fail to do. It is we who are making tomorrow what tomorrow will be. For that reason, futurists think not so much in terms of predicting the future as in terms of trying to decide wisely what we want the future to be.” Edward Cornish, US futurist Warwick Heine

11 Economic, social and environmental well-being are interdependent
Key ideas #2 Economic, social and environmental well-being are interdependent We have failed to see how our economy, our environment and our society are all one and that delivering the best quality of life for us all means more than concentrating on economic growth … Achieving a better quality of life, now and for future generations to come means meeting four simultaneous objectives: Effective protection of the environment Prudent use of natural resources Social progress that meets the needs of everyone Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment Tony Blair, ‘A Better Quality of Life’

12 Key ideas #3 Measuring what matters


14 Indicator Case Studies: overseas
United Nations – Indicator Framework OECD – PSR model and reporting framework UK – A Better Quality of Life: A Strategy for Sustainable development in the UK Jacksonville Indicators Sustainable Seattle Canterbury Quality of Life Indicators Program, NZ Christchurch City Council, NZ and …. Mike Salvaris OECD Ref PSR (Pressure State Response) Christchurch City Council – all reports TBL

15 Indicator case studies: local
Measuring Australia’s Progress (ABS) Tasmania Together Genuine Progress Indicator (Aust Institute) Newcastle (NSW) Cities of Onkaparinga, Marion (SA) Victoria – Outer Eastern Melbourne, Surf Coast, Wodonga, Port Philip, Moreland, Wyndham etc Mike Salvaris


17 Related Victorian initiatives
New Local Government Act Four Year Council Plans and Resource Plans Rationalisation of the number of plans Role of Local Government in Community Strengthening Growing Victoria Together, Fairer Victoria Changing the Way Government Works State Co-ordinating and Management Committee Mike Salvaris

18 Indicators statistics that measure some important issue or policy goal
monitored over time to determine a trend towards or away from a goal inform the community contribute to public debate Anne Langworthy

19 Community Well-being Indicators
measure overall wellbeing of community in all areas of importance to the community not a measure of council performance, but important to councils to understand and change where they can not an end in themselves, but a means to inform and focus whole community action and planning Anne Langworthy

20 Developing a Local Wellbeing Framework
Project will develop a common framework from existing local frameworks (including Leading the Way) and surveys etc This will provide standard, good quality data for councils and communities Starting point is agreement on most important fields (pillars) and key outcomes Indicators then developed from these (not vice versa) Mike Salvaris


22 Key ‘pillars’ of wellbeing framework
Include indicators of wellbeing in 6 key fields (pillars): Economic Social Cultural Built environment Natural environment Governance and community engagement

23 Examples of outcome areas
Economic Local economic output Income levels Local employment Social Health Sense of community Perceptions of safety Cultural Ethnic diversity Whole of life learning Cultural participation Built environment Roads, footpaths Transport Community facilities Natural environment Waste production Air and water quality Amount of open space Governance Voting levels % Women councillors Citizen participation Anne Langworthy


25 Selecting the best indicators
Reflect important community issue or goal Link to strategic Community Plan Reliable data source, available as time series Meaningful and sensitive to change Summary in nature Assist targets, provide benchmarks Show trends over time Anne Langworthy

26 Multiple uses of wellbeing framework

27 Wellbeing measures and democracy
What makes a healthy democracy? Trust The value of local democracy How citizens can participate Issues for local government


29 Trust in democracy




33 Community Engagement: key issues for local government
Understanding the community better Auditing & feedback from current CE processes Improving Council skills and capacity in CE Setting clear goals & success measures for CE Making CE meaningful … and fun Special processes for ‘excluded citizens’ Best use of existing networks and resources CE must be properly resourced Anne Langworthy


35 How LG’s use indicators now
Scan of 77 Council plans and community well-being indicators from 6 Councils 43 Council Plans use sustainability or TBL 19 plans refer to a Community Vision Community Satisfaction Survey used for indicators by 51 councils Indicators sometimes difficult to identify Some linked to Community Plans – some not Not always available on Council websites 181 separate indicators used by one or more of the six Councils Anne Langworthy

36 Some key practical issues
How to ensure that all councils have the right information – and the systems for analysing and using it effectively. How to enable data sharing between and across the state government and local government sectors. How to make information about local strategies, targets and performance more accessible and meaningful to local people. How community views can be reflected in the indicators.

37 Key practical issues (cont’d)
The extent to which state government may wish to prescribe indicators and measures. How to handle proposals for new measures and indicators and avoid duplication. How to help improve the accessibility of existing information. How to build on existing information systems and extend them. How to ensure robust means of assuring data quality.

38 Progress and milestones
Jan - July 2005 Stock take of existing Victorian local government and community indicators Overview of current Local, State, Commonwealth Initiatives Set up website Statewide forums Partner Council program and workshop September 2005 Draft framework Data set gaps identified December 2005 Agreed framework June 2006 Agreed plan for ongoing development and use of community well-being indicators Mike Salvaris

39 Project website:
Regular progress reports ‘Best practice’ models Partner Council information Links to other good sites

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