Evaluating Governance: State of our City 2013 Indicators

In honour of the coming municipal election, this week at Sustainable Calgary is all about evaluating governance in our city.

What do we mean by governance?  I like what Byron Miller had to say about it in his March 12, 2013 blog:

Governance can refer to any sort of action taken by any sort of organization or group of individuals—for example, civic organizations, corporations, NGOs, and even markets—to coordinate and control how we act in our highly complex society.   Governance is about establishing the “rules of the game” for how we live and interact.

We’ve been gathering data evaluating governance in Calgary for the State of our City 2013, and this week, we’re rolling it out.

Five indicators of governance were chosen in a participative process open to the general public, held in March 2013.  These indicators were thought to provide the best snapshot of the state of governance in our city, particularly as it relates to governance by government.

Here’s a preview of the indicators areas and the questions they address:

  • Transparency and Accountability:  How transparent are municipal candidates when it comes to campaign financing?  Which sectors contribute the most, financially, to our municipal elections?  Why is this important?
  • Cultural Diversity in Leadership Positions: How well are women, visible minorities, and aboriginal people represented in leadership positions, including the non-profit sector, media, corporate sector, and government?
  • Control over Revenue:  How much of our tax dollars are controlled by our municipal government? How does this compare with the responsibilities of our municipal government?  How well can our municipal government do its job given its share of taxes, responsibilities, and revenue streams?
  • Effectiveness of Planning: How effective is our municipal government at seeing a project through from beginning to end?  How well do we feel it is using our tax revenue?
  • Representativeness of Democracy: In Calgary, how does the vote count compare with representation by our councilors, members of parliament, and members of the legislative assembly?

Many thanks to the Sustainable Calgary volunteers who spent a good portion of their summers digging up this data, and stay tuned for the release of the numbers over the next 4 days!

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