We have already looked at Why It is Important to Look for Transformation and some broad questions that might be asked. Now let us look at Indicators, their definition and use.
The content on indicators in general comes from the article, Measuring the World. Indicators, Human Rights, and Global Governance by Sally Engle Merry, Current Anthropology, Vol. 52, No. S3, Corporate Lives: Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
Indicators are rapidly multiplying as tools for assessing and promoting a variety of social justice and reform strategies around the world. There are indicators of rule of law, indicators of violence against women, and indicators of economic development, among many others. Indicators are widely used at the national level and are increasingly important in global governance. Development agencies such as the World Bank have created a wide range of indicators, including indicators of global governance and rule of law, and gross domestic product is one of the most widely used and accepted indicators.
Indicators are a technology of not only knowledge production but also governance. They are widely used for decisions, such as where to send foreign aid, where to focus on human rights violators, and which countries offer the best conditions for business development. They represent a technology of producing readily accessible and standardized forms of knowledge.
Defining Indicators: Indicators are statistical measures that are used to consolidate complex data into a simple number or rank that is meaningful to policy makers and the public. They tend to ignore individual specificity and context in favor of superficial but standardized knowledge. An indicator presents clearly the most important features relevant to informed decision making about one issue or question. Although indicators are quantitative—expressed in rates, ratios, percentages, or numbers—some are based on qualitative information converted into numbers.
How This Applies to Wholistic Transformation: It is important to see if there has been Wholistic Transformation, transformation that has changed the way people and neighborhoods think, feel and act in multiple areas of life. Therefore one change in a neighborhood or person is not going to indicate if transformation is taking place. There needs to be multiple elements being transformed. Let’s look at some specific way:
- Indicators can help shape the direction and methods of the church’s ministry:
- Indicators represent opportunity for enhanced relationship with the community
- Use of indicators can expand the church’s community impact
- Indicators can be integrated into the church’s mission
What a NT Neighborhood Could Eventually Look Like
- Neighbors feel this is a good place to live and raise your kids
- Well-built and maintained homes and apartments,
- Healthy people, each one practicing good hygiene.
- Streets and yards not clogged with junk cars and other junk
- Unity and cooperation among the neighborhood members.
- People doing things together.
- A primary school with children testing well
- Streets that are clean and a good system for garbage disposal.
- Basic services which are accessible to everyone.
- An organized neighborhood association truly representing the neighborhood.
- Absence of bars and gambling.
- Christian churches reaching out wholistically to their neighbors.
- People meaningfully employed
- Adequate income for everyone.
- More adults with a GED
- Little or no drug dealing in their neighborhood
- Elimination of prostitution in their neighborhood.
- Most homes worshiping the Lord.
- Neighbors knowing and reaching out to their neighbors
- Neighborhood members who serve as volunteers
- People living in harmony with each other, helping each other.
- A can-do attitude proud of what they have accomplished
- Greatly reduced or non-existent crime.
- Reduction in abuse among family members