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Community Indicators & Evaluation Toolkit Project

Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition [Ohcc]

Community Indicators & Evaluation Toolkit Project

Marnie Benson, project coordinator

The Tool Kit that Marnie is working on will be a practical resource for OHCC's Community Animators and healthy communities groups/coalitions to assist them to choose an appropriate tool for their evaluation and/or indicators initiative. There is increasing interest among healthy communities in tools available to:

* monitor and evaluate the impact of local healthy community activities, and

* track the social, environmental and economic health and well-being of the community

The Tool Kit will provide user friendly evaluation and indicator tools and provide information on the applicability of specific tools including:

* context they are best suited for

* when to use a given tool

* what the expected outcomes are

* how to use the results

* how much the project is expected to cost

* what specific tools can and can't do for you

* what organizational structure the tool is suited for

The OHCC Research & Evaluation Committee has two sub-groups to assist in the identification and compilation of community indicator tools and community evaluation tools. One of their tasks has been to define "indicators" and "evaluation". The following has been proposed by Marnie Benson:

- Indicator - a measurement that reflects the status of some social, economic, or environmental system over time.

- Indicator tool - a resource which a community or group can use to develop indicators and/or measure their general progress towards the goal of long-term economic, social, and environmental health of their community. eg. - the voluntarism rate in a community is an indicator of citizen participation; Signs of Progress, Signs of Caution (a 12-step workbook for creating a community progress report) is an indicator tool.

- Evaluation - to assess the magnitude, quality, impact, process, or outcomes of a project.

- Evaluation tool - a resource which assists a community or group to collect, analyse, and report information about the progress of their project. Indicators are often used within an evaluation to "indicate" progress has/has not been made in a particular area. eg. - assessing whether your new community garden project has made a difference in the

neighbourhood, is an evaluation; a resource which helps you to ask the right questions, determine the appropriate means for collecting data, and interpret the results, is an evaluation tool.

For more information on this project and the Kit(s) contact:

Marnie Benson, Project Coordinator,

Evaluation and Indicators Tool Kit for Healthy Communities

Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition

415 Yonge St, Suite 1202

Toronto, ON M5B 2E7

(416) 408-4841 ext. 338