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
  • 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 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, uses a variety of sources, including data from governmental agencies, reports from foundations and nonprofits, and other studies.
  • Race for Results, from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, measures children’s progress on the national and state levels in key education, health, and economic milestones by racial and ethnic groups.
  • Databank Indicators is Child Trends’ online resource for state and national indicators of child and family well-being and associated measures.
  • State of America’s Children 2021 Report, Children’s Defense Fund
  • Maryland Child Well-Being Scorecard, published by the Maryland Governor’s Office for Children on behalf of the Children’s Cabinet, has been issued annually for more than 15 years. The tool tracks results from areas known to affect a child’s ability to grow up healthy and secure. 
  • 2021 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being is Children Now’s 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. 
  • kidsdata.org, from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, collects and provides data about the health and well-being of California’s children.
  • Youth Wellbeing Report Card, City of Santa Monica Cradle to Career
  • Network for Children publishes data on an annual basis on how Kern County, California, takes care of its children.
  • America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being is an annual report from the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, a clearinghouse established by executive order in 1997. 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.
  • The Hardest Places to Be a Child: Global Childhood Report 2020, from Save the Children, dramatizes outcomes for children by ranking 180 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.
  • Early Development Instrument, Offord Centre for Child Studies,

Other Data-Based Accountability Strategies Focused on Children

Data-Focused Accountability Systems in Other Areas

  • Measure of America, from the Social Science Research Council, includes several interactive tools focused on the health, education, and standard of living of Americans.
  • Community Rating System aims to address the needs of U.S. cities, towns, and counties seeking a common framework for sustainability. This STAR Communities’ 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. 
  • California Women’s Well-Being Index is a web-based, interactive tool from the Women’s Foundation of California 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. 
  • Air Quality Index (AQI), an indicator for reporting air quality, is provided through the AirNow program of the EPA. It is updated daily and available by zip code.
  • Measuring Tomorrow: Accounting for Well-Being, Resilience, and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century is Éloi Laurent’s 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.
  • Scorecard Diplomacy: Grading States to Influence Their Reputation and Behavior, by Judith Kelley, 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.
  • Sustainable Development Goals is a set of 17 goals from the United Nations 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.
  • Measuring the ‘impact’ in impact investing, by Ivy So and Alina Staskevicius
  • GDP: A Brief History, published by Foreign Policy, is a succinct history of the evolution of the gross national product as an indicator of the economy of the United States.
  • Social Progress Index, from Social Progress Imperative, 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. 
  • Can Measures Change the World?, by Christopher Nelson, Anita Chandra, and Carolyn Miller in the Stanford Social Innovation Review
  • Better Life Index measures the well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has identified as essential.