The goal with this project was to perform a comprehensive—but not exhaustive—landscape review of existing civic measurement resources to identify what tools exist today to help answer the big question: how do we know our efforts to improve our constitutional democracy are working?
To survey the terrain of civic measurement, the Citizens & Scholars team interviewed more than 70 people who are conducting or curating research and data on civic readiness or civic opportunities. The team also collected as many measurement tools, rubrics, and studies as they could find, including both qualitative and quantitative research and numerous articles that compile and summarize these tools.
Based on these interviews and resource collection, Citizens & Scholars has developed a framework for organizing the ways that people in many different sectors—education, business, philanthropy, community institutions, media, government, and civil society—are defining and measuring different aspects of civic readiness and civic opportunities. This framework is presented as the Civic Measurement Maps.
While the maps were initially intended to help identify where measurement tools exist, where they are lacking, where we might need to prioritize tool creation, and how limited resources could best be deployed to accomplish these goals, the team is learning that they may have utility beyond measurement.
In one case, they are being used to help design an out-of-school program to help young people solve problems in their communities. They have been useful for a funder seeking to focus investment into a particular aspect of citizen development. Ultimately, the hope is that Mapping Civic Measurement will provide a new common language across the many important contributors involved in strengthening our democracy.Explore the Maps
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