Accessibility reflects the ready ability to locate and access data, including the suitability of the form in which the data are available, the media of dissemination, and the availability of metadata and user support services.
Accuracy is the degree to which the data correctly estimate or describe the characteristics that they are designed to measure. It refers to the closeness between the values provided and the (unknown) true values. In general, the accuracy of the data is measured or described in terms of the error, or the potential significance of the error.
Composite indicators are individual indicators that are compiled into a single index, on the basis of an underlying model of the multi-dimensional concept that is being measured. A composite indicator measures multi-dimensional concepts (e.g. competitiveness, e-trade or environmental quality) which cannot be captured by a single indicator.
Comprehensive key indicator systems pull together only the most essential indicators on a range of economic, environmental and social and cultural issues, as opposed to a group of indicators on one topic. Comprehensive systems are only as good as the topical systems they draw from. They can help to identify a jurisdictionТs significant challenges and opportunities, highlight their importance and urgency, inform choices regarding the allocation of scarce public resources, assess whether solutions are working, and make comparisons to other jurisdictions.
Coherence of data reflects the degree to which they are logically connected and mutually consistent. This implies that the same term should not be used for different concepts or data items without explanation and that variations in methodology that might affect data values should likewise not be made without explanation.
Credibility of data refers to the confidence that users place in data products based on their perceptions about the producer of the data. One important aspect is trust in the objectivity of the data, which are perceived to be produced professionally in accordance with appropriate statistical standards, with transparent policies and practices, and free of manipulation or political pressure.
Data limitations are known problems with the data sources or the data that may be identified by program evaluations, independent audits, information systems analyses, etc. If significant, these limitations could lead to inaccurate assessment of goal achievement. Such limitations might include: inconsistencies in data collection from location to location, from one time period to another, or from one data source to another, when data from more than one source must be combined to create a performance measure. Inconsistencies can arise when standard procedures are not used or followed;
inaccuracies due to imprecise measurement and recording;
Data quality can be defined as Уfitness for use”, a concept that includes a number of attributes that contribute to the usefulness of the data from the perspective of the users.
A group of related progress dimensions can be placed together in a domain (or pillar). For example, indicators of national income and national wealth might both be grouped under the economy domain.
Progress can be measured along a number of different dimensions, which can be grouped into a smaller number of domains. Each dimension reflects a basic kind of end or outcome, such as economic growth or human endeavour or characteristics of our environment.
The key dimensions of the Ecosystem Condition domain include land, freshwater, oceans and seas, biodiversity, and atmosphere.
Frameworks for indicators display the choice of domains and dimensions to be included in an indicator set and how they relate to one another. Frameworks are a tool to focus and clarify the scope of an enquiry. They facilitate these tasks by delineating the dimensions used to build up a particular concept and by creating a logical structure that illustrates how these dimensions relate to one another.
A footprint is a composite indicator based on a calculation of the sum of all resources required to provide specified goods and services.
The Governance domain includes human rights, civic engagement, security and crime, and access to services
Input indicators represent the level of resources -material, energy, effort and money- used to produce an output.
Interpretability reflects the ease with which the user may understand and properly use and analyze the data. The degree of interpretability is largely determined by the adequacy of definitions of concepts, target populations, variables and terminology underlying the data.
An indicator is a quantitative measure that provides information on the state of, or change in, a system over time. The unemployment rate, infant mortality rates, and air quality indexes are examples. Some indicators may be direct, that is, they measure what they say, for example, unemployment rates. Other indicators may be indirect, or proxies. The number of patents granted, for example, may be a proxy for measuring the degree of inventiveness.
Key indicators, sometimes referred to as headline indicators, define a core set of information that have been selected from a range of possibilities. There is no УrightФ number of indicators; how the balance is struck between simplicity and breadth of coverage can vary widely. An indicator set can include a few to hundreds of indicators, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. Rather, it is intended to provide a generally accurate picture of the whole.
An indicator system, or a suite of indicators, is an organized effort to assemble and disseminate a group of indicators that together tell a story about the position and progress of a jurisdiction or jurisdictions. Indicator systems collect information from suppliers (e.g., individuals who respond to surveys or institutions that provide data they have collected), which providers (e.g,, a national statistical agency) then package into products and services for the benefit of users (e.g, leaders, researchers, planners and citizens.). A key national indicator system generally includes social, economic and environmental indicators of a nation as a whole to provide an overall picture of the country’s progress and well-being. While many countries have indicators in one or another of these areas, a system of key national indicators can provide a comprehensive and balanced view, to help to ensure that one dimension of progress is not advancing at the expense of another.
Output indicators measure change in the volume of products or services delivered, such as the number of arrests or enforcement actions taken. These types of indicators are important because outputs are usually produced in the hope of changing an outcome.
Outcome indicators measure change that matters directly to a society, such as educational attainment levels.
In simple terms, progress means life getting better for a societyФ, as defined by members of that society. Progress is multi-dimensional and typically includes economic, social and environmental factors along with other areas that people see as important to life (for example, culture or the quality of governance). Although progress implies change for the better, any assessment of progress must also include assessment of regress.
Performance measures are indicators, statistics or metrics that are used to gauge the performance of an activity, process, or operating entity. Performance measures are also the reference markers used to measure whether a goal is being achieved. To be able to assess progress toward the achievement of performance goals, the measures used must be valid and reliable.
Pressure-State-Response indicators provide a framework for the presentation of indicators (often environmental) arranged according to the pressures that human activities exert on an area of concern, the state of the problem, and of society’s responses. Examples include: the amount of C02 released into the atmosphere each year (pressure), average temperature rise (state); money spent combating adverse weather (response); or numbers of people smoking cigarettes (pressure); incidence of lung cancer (state); money spent on anti-smoking campaigns (response).
Quality of life is sometimes also used to indicate the condition of social well-being.
In the context of performance measures, reliability refers to the precision with which performance is measured.
Relevance refers to the degree to which the data serves to address the purposes for which they are sought. Measuring relevance requires identification of user groups and their needs, both of which can change over time. Relevance may be indirectly assessed by determining whether there are processes in place to determine the views of users and the uses they make of the data.
According to the OECD, sustainable development is defined as a development path along which the maximisation of human well-being for today’s generations but without leading to declines in future well-being.
Selecting indicators for an indicator system can involve different approaches:
A bottom-up approach works from the grassroots, causing a decision to arise from the joint involvement of a large number of people working together.
In a top-down approach, an executive decision-maker or body chooses the indicators, although the choice of indicators might be based on consultation with others.
Subjective well-being is a measure of how people feel about their lives or aspects of their lives. It refers to a broad category of phenomena that includes people’s emotional responses, domain satisfaction, and global judgements of life satisfaction.
Timeliness of data reflects the length of time between their availability and the event or phenomenon they describe, considered in the context of the time period that permits the information to be of value and still acted upon.
Topical indicator systems involve specific or related sets of issues, such as health, education, public safety, employment or transportation. They also form the foundation of information resources for the general public, the media, professionals, researchers, institutions, leaders and policymakers.
Validation is the testing of data to ensure that no error creates significant bias, that is, that no error would affect conclusions about the extent to which performance goals have been achieved.
Validity is the extent to which the measure adequately represents actual performance.
Verification is the checking or testing of performance data to reduce the risk of using data that contain significant errors.
Assessments of societal progress often focus on the well-being of society, or the condition or state of being well, contented and satisfied with life. Dictionary definitions differ, but notions of prosperity, health and happiness generally figure.