CIV Newsletter - October 2010

  1. Australian Community Indicator Network
  2. NatStats 2010
  3. CIV as case study for international research
  4. Results Based Accountability Training 101: Melbourne
  5. CIV Indicator Framework drives a local response for Communities to address Food Insecurity
  6. Professor John Wiseman focuses his attention to Climate Change
  7. New McCaughey Centre Director
  8. Great News for CIV Wellbeing Indicator framework
  9. Do you know….what eudaimonia means?
  10. Newsworthy Articles
  11. The Indicator Inbox
  12. Data Release

Australian Community Indicators Network (ACIN)

The community indicators movement in Australia took another step forward in recent weeks. At a lunchtime workshop at the NatStats2010 conference in Sydney on Thursday 16th September, there was considerable enthusiasm for the idea of forming an Australian Community Indicators Network. About 40 people attended, and agreed unanimously to launch the ACIN.  There will be more information on the upcoming ACIN in the next newsletter.

NatStats 2010

The bi annual conference of the Australian Bureau of Statistics – NatStats 2010 was held in Sydney in September. A highlight of the conference was the presentation of the new look “Measures of Australia’s Progress” (MAP) which is now available online. Additionally, an expert panel to review future MAP indicators was announced and includes CIV Reference Group member Mike Salvaris.

CIV as case study for international research

A research team from the United States Government Accountability Office was recently in Melbourne to interview CIV staff and reference group members about the development and use of CIV.
Legislation signed into law in the United States during the spring of 2010 included a mandate that a comprehensive key indicator system be developed for the United States and, as part of this effort, the Government Accountability Office was asked by Congress to identify current trends and in the development, design, and use of key indicator systems, collect information on how key indicator systems are being used by governmental and non-governmental entities to inform decision making, and to identify factors that help or hinder the successful development and use of key indicator systems.
To collect this information a research team from the GAO selected a diverse collection of local, state, and national indicator systems to serve as case studies and Community Indicators Victoria was selected as a state case study.  The team focused on collecting information on the experiences that those in Victoria had a role in developing, designing, and using CIV so that they could identify trends, insights, and successful practices to inform the work of those who will ultimately be responsible for developing a key indicator system for the United States.

* FULLY BOOKED* Results-Based Accountability 101 Training

This one day workshop, delivered by Mark Friedman and Louise McKay introduces participants to the Results Accountability framework. In the workshop, Results Accountability is applied to both cross-community quality of life improvements and the management of programs, agencies, and service systems.
Results-Based Accountability is a disciplined way of thinking and taking action that can be used to improve the quality of life in communities, cities, states, territories and nations.

Date:               December 3rd
Time:              9.00 am to 4.00 pm
Venue:            Graduate House, Melbourne University.
Cost:               $375.00
This is a popular training and places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment

CIV Indicator Framework drives a local response for Communities to address Food Insecurity.

People experiencing food insecurity have poor access to healthy, affordable, safe and culturally appropriate food sufficient for an active and healthy life.  CIV’s Local Government Level Food Insecurity rate for adult Victorians, measured in 2007 was the critical indicator for this current “call to action”.
The Victorian Local Government Association (VLGA) has been contracted by Vic Health to disseminate the learnings from the Food for All Local Government projects which ran between 2005-2010. 
People who do experience food insecurity suffer a greater burden of disease, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and some cancers. It has been identified that these physical health consequences are often accompanied by social exclusion. The Food For All project identified 10 Keys ways for local Government to act. The CIV indicator has and continues to inform the work of Food For All.  The VLGA uses the rates to advocate the issue.
LGA’s are able to identify how they compare with neighbouring LGA’s, like LGA’s and on a state level. The VLGA works alongside individual LGA’s to explore at a local level the issue around Food Insecurity through a series of workshops and information sessions.  
This partnership approaches fosters knowledge exchange and capacity building to strengthen a communities response to issues such as Food Insecurity.
If you are interested in exploring through a workshop in your LGA about the learnings from the Food For All Project please contact Leah Galvin or view the fact sheets and mini movies which detail the findings of the Food For All project.

Professor John Wiseman focuses his attention to Climate Change

John Wiseman stood down from his role as Director of the McCaughey Centre in early October 2010. John was instrumental in the development and implementation of CIV.  John was a member of the Victorian Community Indicators Project research team and brought the findings of the project to the McCaughey Centre leading to the development of Community Indicators Victoria (CIV). John has worked diligently with the CIV team to realize Australia’s first successful statewide community indicators project. The CIV team would like to thank John for his dedication in achieving this goal and wish him success in his new role. Some reflections from John are provided below:
“I would like to take this opportunity to note and confirm my intention to leave my position as Director of the McCaughey Centre in October 2010 in order to focus my energy on climate change related research, writing and policy development.
Since taking up the position of Centre Director in 2006 it has been my great privilege to lead the McCaughey Centre in its establishment phase.  I firmly believe this has been a period of outstanding achievements by the Centre’s staff, students and collaborators.
Over this period I have also formed an increasingly clear view that the prevention of catastrophic climate change is the greatest single health and wellbeing challenge of our times.  I have therefore made a decision to focus my own future research, writing and advocacy work on the social transformations needed to reduce the risks of runaway climate change in ways which are just, democratic and sustainable.
I intend to undertake this work as an Honorary Professorial Fellow with the University of Melbourne through the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and the Melbourne School of Population Health.
I would like to take this opportunity to note my appreciation to VicHealth and the Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne for the vision they have displayed in establishing the Centre.  I would also like to thank all McCaughey Centre staff and Advisory Committee members for their deep commitment to the Centre’s ethos of ‘knowledge for common good’ - and the outstanding results that have been achieved so far.  I look forward to continuing to explore issues of common interest and concern in the future.”
Professor John Wiseman.

New McCaughey Centre Director, Professor Billie Giles-Corti, VicHealth Centre for the Promotion of Mental Health and Community Wellbeing, Melbourne School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne.

I am delighted to announce that the successor to Professor John Wiseman as Director of the McCaughey Centre will be Professor Billie Giles-Corti PhD, the Foundation Director of the Centre for the Built Environment and Health at the University of Western Australia. For the last 15 years, Professor Giles-Corti has been at the forefront of developing a new field in health promotion, focused on understanding environmental factors that contribute to community wellbeing and which influence physical, social and mental health. In recent years, her research has been expanded to include a range of the social determinants of health, including sense of community, social capital, urban design, safety and fear of crime. She has studied the impact of the built environment across the life course from children through to older adults with the aim of influencing urban design policy and practice to create healthy and sustainable communities. She is recognised nationally and internationally for her research.  Associate Professor Tony LaMontagne will act as Director of the McCaughey Centre until Billie’s arrival, and will work closely with her in the interim in forward planning.  Billie will begin her role as the Centre Director  in July 2011.
Terry Nolan
Head, Melbourne School of Population Health

Great News for CIV Wellbeing Indicator framework as New data becomes available. Improving Access to Victorian Public Sector Information and Data

The Victorian Government has committed to improving access to Public Sector Information (PSI) following an inquiry conducted by the Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee. Open access to PSI is an important tool to increase community engagement, increase commercial activity and provide primary data to researchers in a wide range of fields. The release of OPI also demonstrates a commitment to increase transparency across government. A response to the enquiry was tabled in Parliament in February 2010. View the report.
The implementation of this legislation may take time for us to see the full affect of new data being released.  However it is a great step forward for Victoria in accessing data and knowledge captured through the Victorian Public Service.

Do you know….what eudaimonia means?

Research on individual or Subjective Wellbeing can be categorised according to two major traditions: hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing.  Hedonia and hedonic wellbeing refers to the emotional experience of happiness and positive affect with research led by Diener and colleagues for many years.  In comparison, eudaimonia and eudaimonic wellbeing is concerned with having meaning in life and maximising human potential and personal growth, and is exemplified in Ryff’s formulation of psychological wellbeing. There is considerable overlap between the hedonic and eudaimonic traditions in definitions of Subjective Wellbeing and the topic is further discussed in the following article: 
Deci, E. & Ryan, M.(2008). Hedonia, eudaimonia and wellbeing: An introduction. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9 (1), 1-11.  

Newsworthy Articles

Measuring Wellbeing gathers momentum in varies parts of the community.
Organic Gardner Magazines brings to the fore the work of measuring change and progress beyond the GPD.  Organic Gardner reviews David Suzuki's new book The Legacy.
'David Suzuki distills a lifetime of wisdom and learning to explain how we got into our dire planetary crisis, and how we can get out of it.  In the following extract, he writes about economic 'progress' and what makes true quality of life'. Organic Gardner, November/December 2010
Thank you to Sally Bodenham for drawing our attention to this article. It is encouraging to see the discussion of measuring the quality of our life beyond the GDP gather momentum in different parts of community life.

The Indicator Inbox

The Indicator Inbox will be coming to a computer near you this summer.  The Indicator Inbox is the CIV newsletter that is being revamped to deliver information on the work of CIV and Indicator work more globally.  The Indicator Inbox will be produced quarterly with the first one hitting your screen in summer 2011. 

 Data Release

Housing Affordability: Median House Price and Median Flat/Unit Price from 2006-2009. Land Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2010.
The 2008 Victorian Population Health Survey was released in late September and CIV has requested data for indicators of Personal Health and Wellbeing. It is anticipated that the data will be made available to CIV in November 2010.