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Canberra’s progress now measured.

By johnboy - 31 August 2010 13

For those of a more philosophical bent progress is a slippery thing to measure.

Maybe the salary is higher but the kids are in bed by the time one gets home? Is that progress?

What if we could guarantee a season of plenty for all at the cost of one blood sacrifice? On average progress no?

But for the ACT Government 28 key performance indicators are all that’s required.

Mr Stanhope has announced that Canberra as a whole is streaking ahead:

Canberrans are more water-wise, less wasteful and more satisfied with the quality of the ACT’s public schools and services at The Canberra Hospital, according the ACT’s Government latest report card on life in Canberra.

The Measuring Our Progress report, which now has a dedicated website, was released today by the Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope.

“Measuring Our Progress provides a snap-shot of life in Canberra against 28 indicators in areas including health, safety, sustainability, and education,” Mr Stanhope said. “It aims to provide a complete picture of our progress, as a community and as a Government, towards a healthy, safer and more prosperous city.”

The website is online and the 28 indicators which will now skew every aspect of governance are:

    A Healthy ACT

    — Birthweight in newborns
    A measure of the proportion of babies born in the ACT (to ACT mothers) with a birth weight of less than 2,500 grams.

    — Tobacco consumption
    A measure of the proportion of persons in the ACT that currently smoke on a daily basis.

    — Life expectancy
    A measure of life expectancy at birth (in years) for males and females in the ACT.

    — People with a healthy bodyweight
    A measure of the proportion of persons in the ACT with an overweight or obese self-reported Body Mass Index.

    A Prosperous ACT

    — State Final Demand
    A measure of seasonally adjusted, quarterly State Final Demand (chain volume measure) per capita in the ACT.

    — Unemployment
    A measure of the trend, monthly unemployment rate in the ACT.

    — Capital expenditure
    A measure of the level of trend, quarterly, total private new capital expenditure per capita in the ACT.

    — Equitable distribution of income
    A measure of the ACT’s Gini Co-efficient.

    A Fair and Safe ACT

    — Offences against the person/property
    A measure of the number of offences against the person and property recorded in the ACT.

    — People who feel safe at home
    A measure of the proportion of persons in the ACT who feel safe at home during the day and at night.

    — Child protection substantiations
    A measure of the rate, per 1,000 children in the ACT aged 0-16 years, of child protection reports that, upon appraisal, are substantiated.

    — Homelessness
    A measure of the rate of homelessness in the ACT per 10,000 of the population.

    A Sustainable ACT

    — Water consumption
    A measure of the average annual residential water consumption in the ACT (kL/property).

    — Greenhouse gas emissions
    A measure of the total tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2-e) per capita in the ACT.

    — Waste to landfill
    A measure of the average per capita tonnes of waste to landfill in the ACT.

    — Ecological footprint
    A measure of the average per capita ecological footprint in the ACT (global hectares).

    An ACT with High Quality Services

    — Satisfaction with service delivery
    A measure of the proportion of persons indicating they were satisfied with the delivery of ACT Government services.

    — Call centre response times
    A measure of the proportion of calls to the ACT Government call centre answered in less than 20 seconds.

    — Satisfaction with education
    A measure of the proportion of parents satisfied with their child’s education in ACT public schools.

    — Satisfaction with hospitals
    A measure of the proportion of patients satisfied with their hospital stay at The Canberra Hospital.

    A Vibrant ACT

    — Contact outside the household
    A measure of the proportion of persons in the ACT having regular face-to-face contact with family/friends outside the household.

    — Involvement in cultural events
    A measure of the proportion of persons who attended at least one culural venue or event in the preceding year.

    — Participation in sports/physical recreation
    A measure of the participation rate in sports and physical recreation in the ACT for persons aged 15 years and over.

    — Participation in voluntary work
    A measure of the proportion of persons in the ACT that have undertaken voluntary work in the last 12 months.

    An Educated and Skilled ACT

    — Children achieving national standards in education
    A measure of the proportion of Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students in ACT schools achieving at or above the national minimum standards for reading, writing and numeracy.

    — Year 12 (or equivalent) attainment
    A measure of the proportion of 20-24 year old people in the ACT who have attained a Year 12 Certificate or equivalent (AQF Cert II).

    — People with post-school qualifications
    A measure of the proportion of persons in the ACT, aged 25-64 years, with post-school qualifications.

    — VET participation
    A measure of the proportion of persons in the ACT, aged 15-64 years, participating in vocational education and training.

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Canberra’s progress now measured.
Bosworth 9:53 pm 01 Sep 10

What if we could guarantee a season of plenty for all at the cost of one blood sacrifice? On average progress no?

http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/lotry.html

Waiting For Godot 11:10 am 01 Sep 10

I don’t believe the finding that Canberrans are getting fatter. I remember last summer seeing gangs of healthy young muscular men walking around wearing black singlets. They were everywhere. Also there is the fact that the Southern Cross Gym for example has over 6000 members. I believe the study is using old data from the terrible John Howard years of bunkering down, home theatres, plasma TVs, Kath and Kim boganism and fast food bingeing.

pajs 10:44 am 01 Sep 10

There is new data in and behind the announcement. Not a bad set of indicators, I reckon. Interesting that waste generation in Canberra went up 6% between 2007-08 and 2008-09, while ABS population stats (end June 08 to end June 09) have a 2% growth in population.

WillowJim 8:30 am 01 Sep 10

astrojax said :

than..??

Than the last time it was measured or reported, of course.

Skidbladnir said :

The website is old, only the announcement is new

So what? Does that make it redundant or irrelevant?

Seriously, why do some people go to such great lengths to criticise everything a government does and says?

Deano 8:47 pm 31 Aug 10

Skidbladnir said :

And then there are several that will naturally be skewed by a large population of Federal government employees:

Which is probably one of the reasons why they don’t show comparison figures for other states.

Hells_Bells74 6:05 pm 31 Aug 10

Not many smokers left. Did they not have any small babies born after 2007? I noticed all different years, hard to see progress when they’re not so recent?

A nice ‘vanilla’ site if you like that sort of thing 🙂

Skidbladnir 5:40 pm 31 Aug 10

True enough, Caf…
I’d intended to call it ‘commercial’ after my re-reading, but realised I’d hit Post instead of Preview.
But ‘data collection is hard’ isn’t really a defence, they should have that data already on file.

And these are the performance metrics they’ll be optimising policy to achieve, so it would help if the metric was a useful indicator…

caf 5:17 pm 31 Aug 10

Skidbladnir: Presumably measuring industrial water consumption is more problematic, because different industries naturally use vastly differing amounts of water – so the figure would be affected a lot by what kinds of industries were starting up or shutting down. Whereas residential water consumption should at least be comparable year-on-year, which is the whole point. One presumes that they could have included office water consumption too, but perhaps that’s harder to measure.

Skidbladnir 4:39 pm 31 Aug 10

1) The website is old, only the announcement is new.
<meta name="DC.Date.Created" content="08/02/2010" />
<meta name="DC.Date.Modified" content="01/07/2010" />
(Dublin Core page metadata)

2) They’re phrased in such a way as to be vague.
A measure of the proportion of persons in the ACT with an overweight or obese self-reported Body Mass Index.
(So, nobody reads the information produced specifically to inform policy these days?…The accuracy of self-reported BMI is sufficient for epidemiological studies using disease biomarkers, although inappropriate for precise measures of obesity prevalence. Source: (2007 January, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health)

A measure of the average annual residential water consumption in the ACT (kL/property).
(Industry consumption doesn’t matter?)

A measure of the proportion of persons in the ACT who feel safe at home during the day and at night.
(Perceptions are easier to manage than reality?)

And then there are several that will naturally be skewed by a large population of Federal government employees:
…babies born in the ACT (to ACT mothers) with a birth weight of less than 2,500 grams… (fewer methfiends, smokers, and generally a healthier living populace)
monthly unemployment rate in the ACT… (not in ACT Govt control)
regular face-to-face contact with family/friends outside the household…
…attained a Year 12 Certificate or equivalent…
…aged 25-64 years, with post-school qualifications

Holden Caulfield 2:57 pm 31 Aug 10

Deano said :

…The danger is though that government policy becomes fixated on driving the indicators. For example, concentrating on child protection at the expense of domestic violence prevention…

You mean like focusing on speeding on our roads at the expense of a better understanding/compliance with all road rules.

Deano 1:38 pm 31 Aug 10

As someone with more than the occasional involvement in developing KPIs, these actually look quite reasonable. There is a good mix of hard and soft indicators that tie in well with each goal. There are many more measures that could be included but those that are are reasonable indicators of the overall condition. For example, the level of child protection is a reasonable indicator for the overall health of families.

The danger is though that government policy becomes fixated on driving the indicators. For example, concentrating on child protection at the expense of domestic violence prevention.

Some of the softer indicators are subject to manipulation for political purposes. For example, people who feel safe at home is very subjective. An unscrupulous opposition politician could going on about increased crime which would make people start to question how safe they are, resulting in a decline in the indicator, which the said politician then uses to justify what they had been saying all along and lay the blame on the government.

astrojax 1:06 pm 31 Aug 10

Canberrans are more water-wise, less wasteful and more satisfied with the quality of the ACT’s public schools and services at The Canberra Hospital…

than..??

inuits with six fingers? uzbeks who speak tibetan? sydney hairdressers?

i love meaningless sentences in government releases.

it also misses under ‘a vibrant canberra’

– more public confrontations with loonies on mt ainslie
– more ranting on public forums about being overcharged $5 for pizza

tidalik 12:05 pm 31 Aug 10

Yes progress is hard to measure JB but don’t pretend that measuring progress with KPIs was invented by Stanhope. All governments do it, the ABS does it, it’s pretty standard. At least it’s not all micro-economic indicators.

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