About Community Indicator Systems

What is a Community Indicator?

Community indicators are measurements that provide information about past and current trends within a community. They show the relationship between social, environmental, and economic factors that affect a community’s well-being. Community indicators provide information on the overall direction of a community, providing data on where it is improving, declining, and/or staying the same.

Community indicators are often grouped into category areas or themes. Peg has grouped the community indicators into seven theme areas: Built Environment, Basic Needs, Economy, Education & Learning, Health, Natural Environment, and Social Vitality & Governance.

What is a Community Indicator System?

Community indicators systems identify and track indicators that speak to a community’s well-being. They look at a web of indicators that relate to the economic, environmental, cultural, social, and other issues that matter most to a community. The system tracks and shares data for each indicator, making the information fully available to members of the community.

A community indicator system allows a city or community to look at the inter-relationship between many indicators, seeing whether they interact to enhance a community’s well-being.

How Do Community Indicator Systems Benefit their Communities?

A community indicator system provides a way for individuals, community groups, and organizations in all sectors to easily access data. It also enhances collaboration, provides tools to encourage progress, improves decision-making, informs research, and increases public knowledge about key economic, environmental, social, and cultural issues. At a more immediate level, a community indicator system benefits all members of a community by providing reliable, credible information.

More recently, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has been leading the way in working with communities across Canada and internationally to incorporate the SDGs into their community indicator systems. In so doing, cities are better able to track the impact of their local actions on the indicators related to the SDGs. Peg is IISD’s flagship community indicator system in this expanding area.

Peg’s Data

How Do I Access The Data?

Along the left side of the website you will see seven icons for the seven theme areas in Peg. When you click on an icon, it will provide you with a list of indicators. Clicking an indicator will take you to a page with three different ways of learning about the indicator. The first tab provides background information, such as the source and why the indicator is important. The second provides the data in the form of a graph – where the data is available, we show the data trends over time as well as a comparison of community areas with the most recent data. 

How Do You Decide What Information Goes on Peg?

Peg used an intensive community consultation process with over 800 people from a variety sectors to brainstorm, shortlist, and determine theme areas and indicators. The indicators are monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis by a cross-sectoral Advisory Group and project team members from IISD and United Way Winnipeg.

Where Does Peg Get Its Information and Data?

Data for Peg is obtained from reliable and credible external sources. The parameters and limitations of each source are stated with the background information for each indicator.

By involving many individuals and groups at every level of development, Peg has provides a non-biased approach. Peg does not collect data but rather communicates data that has been collected externally. Each indicator specifies the data source (e.g., Statistics Canada, Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, City of Winnipeg, etc.). The data on Peg is updated at the frequency it becomes available from its sources.

IISD conducts an in-depth quality assurance quality control process before entering information on the site.

What is the Difference Between a ‘Community Area’ and a ‘Neighbourhood’?

The Winnipeg Data Consortium, which includes the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the City of Winnipeg, various provincial government departments, and a number of community groups, has established a shared definition of boundaries related to different areas of our city. Winnipeg is divided into 236 neighbourhoods, 186 of these neighbourhoods have Census statistics associated with them. The other 50 have a population of less than 100 persons.

These neighbourhoods are amalgamated into 12 ‘community characterization areas’, or ‘community areas’, each with a population of approximately 55,000 people. Peg uses data at both the neighbourhood and community area level. The geography used depends on the level of data available.

Using Peg

Who Might Benefit from Peg?

Peg is designed to benefit all Winnipeggers, providing reliable and credible information on key indicators. With the 2018 refresh of the Peg website, it now provides Winnipeggers with a way to track how our city is doing against the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Groups who may benefit from Peg include:

  • Government and other decision-makers to inform policy and processes.
  • Businesses to explore connections to their corporate social responsibility plans and SDGs.
  • Students to research projects and take action in the community.
  • Non-profit organizations to gather information, inform proposals and tailor programming to their community’s needs.
  • Community members to learn more about their neighbourhood and their city.

Who is in Charge of Peg?

Peg is led by two partnering organizations – International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) and United Way Winnipeg.

Since community ownership is critical to the development and success of the system, these two organizations actively incorporate the perspectives, wisdom, and advice of Winnipeggers. This includes the Peg Advisory Group, responsible for the overall guidance and oversight of Peg efforts. At the end of the day, Peg belongs to Winnipeggers.

Who is on the Advisory Group?

  • Government and other decision-makers to inform policy and processes.
  • Jodene Baker, University of Winnipeg
  • Carolee Buckler, Province of Manitoba
  • Cindy Fernandes, City of Winnipeg
  • Sande Harlos, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
  • Sarah Leeson-Klym, Canadian Community Economic Development Network
  • Scott McCullough, Institute of Urban Studies
  • Brendan Reimer, Assiniboine Credit Union
  • Loren Remillard, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
  • Noralou Ross, University of Manitoba – Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
  • Cathy Steven, Health in Common
  • Edward Suzuki, Economic Development Winnipeg
  • Pam Sveinson, Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council
  • Darren Swanson, Novel Futures Corporation
  • The Winnipeg Foundation

How is Peg Funded?

Peg strives for cross-sectoral funding support. Funding is provided by United Way Winnipeg and The Winnipeg Foundation, along with in-kind support from the International Institute for Sustainable Development and United Way Winnipeg.

Founding support to develop and implement Peg came from the City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Assiniboine Credit Union, Great-West Life, and Investors Group. 

Peg also recognizes the financial support of the ECHO Foundation and Natural Resources Canada’s GeoConnections Program for the development of the tracking-progress tool.