Measuring progress: using social indicator data to advance social equity

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University of Delaware
This dissertation examines whether social equity is incorporated into the administrative practices of social indicator projects. A database was designed which will classify dimensions of the social indicator projects including data sources, indicator types, funding, and administration practices. Case studies were developed of social indicator projects in four cities in the United States. The case studies were selected using a purposive sample which includes two cities with government administered data initiatives and two cities with non-governmental administered data initiatives. Sources of data for the case studies include semi-structured interviews with social indicator project administrators, participant observation, and document review, among other sources. The findings of this research include the importance of a community’s data culture in measuring social indicators, the imperative nature of continuity regarding tracking social indicators, and the diversity of functions among organizations that track social indicators. Included in these findings are a review of social equity indicators from the four case studies as well as a proposed framework for understanding data organizations.
Social sciences, Data intermediary, Nonprofit management, Public administration, Social equity, Social indicators