Measurement Tools

Racial Equity Data
Data and Children’s Report Cards
Other Data-Based Accountability Strategies Focused on Children
Data-Focused Accountability Systems in Other Areas

Data and Children’s Report Cards: A Sampling

Creating and Using Community Report Cards from Community Tool Box, a public service of the University of Kansas.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book analyzes national trends in overall child well-being and ranks states according to four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. The report, published annually since 1990, uses a variety of sources, including data from governmental agencies, reports from foundations and nonprofits, and other studies.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race for Results measures children’s progress on the national and state levels in key education, health, and economic milestones by racial and ethnic groups.

Child Trends’ Databank Indicators is an online resource for state and national indicators of child and family well-being and associated measures. 

Children’s Defense Fund, State of America’s Children 2021 Report (2021)

Maryland Governor’s Office for Children on behalf of the Children’s Cabinet’s Maryland Child Well-Being Scorecard has been issued annually for more than 15 years by the governor’s office. The tool tracks results from areas known to affect a child’s ability to grow up healthy and secure. 

Children Now’s 2021 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being is an interactive, online report that presents a picture of children’s condition in each of California’s 58 counties. This report provides county-level data visualizations, tracking 30 key indicators of child well-being across counties, over time, and by race and ethnicity. 

Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health’s collects and provides data about the health and well-being of California’s children.

City of Santa Monica Cradle to Career, Youth Wellbeing Report Card

Kern County, California Network for Children publishes data on an annual basis on how the County takes care of its children.

Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, a clearinghouse established by executive order in 1997, annually issues its report America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being. It presents 41 key indicators on important aspects of children’s lives, grouped in seven categories: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. The data are culled from federal agencies and analyzed with input from foundations, academic researchers, and state and local service providers.

Save the Children’s The Many Faces of Exclusion: End of Childhood Report 2018 dramatizes outcomes for children by ranking 175 countries based on when “childhood ends.” The rankings incorporate rates of early death, malnutrition, abbreviated education, entering the workforce, early marriage, early childbirth, or extreme violence.

Offord Centre for Child Studies, Early Development Instrument

Other Data-Based Accountability Strategies Focused on Children

Data-Focused Accountability Systems in Other Areas

The Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America includes several interactive tools focused on the health, education, and standard of living of Americans.

STAR Communities’ Community Rating System aims to address the needs of U.S. cities, towns, and counties seeking a common framework for sustainability. The initiative is a voluntary, menu-based certification program designed for communities to evaluate their progress against a set of standardized sustainability objectives and evaluation measures. 

Women’s Foundation of California’s California Women’s Well-Being Index is a web-based interactive tool that shows data and rankings, by county, for how California’s women are faring. The 30 measures encompass health, personal safety, employment and earnings, economic security, and political empowerment. 

AirNow’s Air Quality Index (AQI), EPA’s indicator for reporting air quality, is updated daily and available by zip code.

Éloi Laurent’s Measuring Tomorrow: Accounting for Well-Being, Resilience, and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century (2018) provides a forward-looking analysis of what societies should measure, how these measures can be used to develop new policies, and includes case studies from around the world.

Judith Kelley’s Scorecard Diplomacy: Grading States to Influence Their Reputation and Behavior (2017) presents new research suggesting that in an international setting—and under the right conditions—countries can be motivated to action by appealing to their reputation. Grading countries on human trafficking—supported by practical assistance from government, expanded publicity, and indirect pressure from third parties—resulted in improved policies.

United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is a set of 17 goals that have been adopted by nearly 200 countries and are designed to achieve shared outcomes related to economic development, health, and sustainability over a 30-year period. Nations are expected to meet more specific targets, which are stipulated under each goal.

So, Ivy and Alina Staskevicius, Measuring the ‘impact’ in impact investing, Harvard Business School (2015).

Foreign Policy, GDP: A Brief History (2011): a succinct history of the evolution of the gross national product as an indicator of the economy of the United States.

Social Progress Imperative’s Social Progress Index uses data to measure the quality of life of people in countries as they relate to the Sustainable Development Goals, including the Youth Progress Index, which measures the quality of life for youth in 150 countries. 

Nelson, Christopher, Anita Chandra, and Carolyn Miller, Can Measures Change the World? Stanford Social Innovation Review, (2018).

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Better Life Index measures the well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential.