Indicators as Interventions
Pitfalls and Prospects in Supporting Development Initiatives
Improving the well-being of poor and vulnerable people relies on solving systemic problems. The perceived severity of these problems and the success of potential solutions are often measured by information bundled into key indicators. Gaining a clearer understanding of the role that indicators play is a critical issue that will only take on more importance as new information become increasingly available and used over the next decades. One of the most interesting findings presented in the report is that the process of creating and disseminating indicators can be an effective intervention that is particularly useful in addressing and marshaling a response to wicked problems—complex, interdependent, ever-changing global issues that require the application of iterative solutions in order to be managed successfully. The ability of indicators to help reframe problems related to poverty and globalization is an excellent example of how new kinds of evidence can play an outsized role in shaping the responses undertaken by philanthropies, governments, and other organizations interested in ensuring social change.