IMPACT AWARD – COMMUNITY PROJECT
This work demonstrates the power of indicators and evidence to drive positive community change. Winning projects use data to analyze, communicate community conditions, engage citizens and policy makers and catalyze action for making measurable and sustainable improvements in quality of community life.
Communities can be geographical, but can also be topical or demographic communities of shared interest. Projects can be hosted by non-profit organizations, local government entities, foundations or academic institutions. The community may be large or small, but the impact of the use of indicators must be significant.
Austin Area Sustainability Indicators Project started in 1999 and has released nine reports. Indicator selection is varied and includes a section and research on community resilience — something few community indicators have, and which shows innovation –, climate and equity. The project has buy-in from foundations, local government, and academia. It demonstrates continued engagement with the data and analysis in academia and local news. A2SI undertakes primary data collection through their own community survey and they source their indicators from the biennial community survey and “passive data” from 311 calls. The data is used by local foundations to inform programs and by government to improve decision-making and policy design. In this way, they Collect, Connect, and Catalyze.
Dr Patrick Bixler, an assistant professor at the University of Texas in Austin and project lead accepted the CIC community Impact award on behalf of Austin Area Sustainability Indicators Project.