Indicators and benchmarks
- Darlington Mushongera
This was the first project designed to collect data on a set of socio-economic indicators for purposes of assessing and monitoring the performance of the GCR as well as benchmarking that performance with selected city-regions elsewhere in the world. The project was a core part of GCRO’s work as an observatory, and concentrated on producing short data briefs and data visualisations in the form of vignettes and graphs of the month. The project had four aspects:
- Collection of data, on an on-going basis, for a set of indicators which reveal the performance of, and development progress in, the GCR;
- Gathering similar datasets for selected city regions elsewhere in the world, preferably with similar attributes to the GCR in terms of spatial extent and population size;
- Using the same datasets to benchmark the performance of the GCR against the selected city regions for which data is available;
- Using the datasets to publish, on a regular basis, data briefs and data visuals that reflect on development progress of the GCR over time and across the continuum of GCRO’s research pillars.
From a policy perspective indicators and benchmarks are important for monitoring progress towards specific socio-economic goals of government. They assist in identifying potential areas where urgent policy intervention is needed. More generally and over periods of time indicators and benchmarks can tell whether or not existing government policies are on the right track relative to long-term goals and what is happening in comparable city-regions in other parts of the world.
Academically, the project aimed to highlight issues that might require further in-depth inquiry or investigation. Through benchmarking the project provided clues as to why certain trends are observed and/or persist.
The project involved all GCRO Staff by publishing important data emerging from their projects for quick and easy understanding by the general public in the GCR.
The project had two components. Component 1 involved the production of a series of Vignettes, Data Briefs and Graphs of the Month. Component 2 involved a targeted experiment to collect data for a limited set of indicators across 8-10 city-regions that can be counted as similar to the GCR. The result was a power-point presentation and Data Brief capturing the results.