ERIC Number: ED157656
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Sep-3
Reference Count: 0
Descriptive Social Reporting and Systematic Needs Assessment: Tools for Decision Makers.
Carter, Keith A.; And Others
A research project in nine Iowa counties attempted to show local level decision makers how to use social indicator data to improve quality of life and increase accountability in policy making. Tools presented were descriptive social reporting (a mechanism for organizing descriptive, time series, social indicator data) and systematic needs assessment (focus on data gathering techniques). A framework for descriptive social reporting was developed to encourage use of social indicators in rural development planning. These reports were presented to rural decision makers in a series of county conferences with data from state and federal sources on policy relevant areas of health, education, public safety, housing, income, employment, leisure/recreation, and physical environment. Social indicators for each were related to allocation of funds, structure and utilization of available services, and level of aggregate well being. Social indicators were also given for nonmanipulable factors: human resource, geographical/physical, and economic dimensions. Techniques for eliciting attitudinal data for needs assessment were then described (attitude survey, public forum, key informant) along with the social indicator technique for applying nonattitudinal data. Partly as a result of this project, an information delivery system is to be set up at Iowa State University to meet information needs of decision makers. (RS)
Descriptors: Accountability, Attitudes, Community Leaders, Decision Making, Delivery Systems, Economic Factors, Education, Employment, Environment, Health, Housing, Human Resources, Income, Information Dissemination, Information Needs, Methods, Natural Resources, Needs Assessment, Planning, Policy Formation, Quality of Life, Recreation, Research Tools, Rural Development, Safety, Social Indicators
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rural Development Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Iowa Agricultural and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual National Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (San Francisco, California, September 3, 1978)