Monitoring information is vital for governing bodies of any type to make decisions. It will be of great interest to see what kind of information will be required by people in community governance roles as those roles develop, and how it will be acquired. At the moment, the bulk of the information available in a community comes from service providers’ monitoring systems, and national census data.
For a community to move towards sustainability by responding to changes in its environment, that data would be insufficient on its own to guide decision-making about a community’s well-being.
An example involves a community led partnership between the community, the school and its health service. In order for the partnership to be goal orientated, each of the three partners has to agree to a common goal. Measurement of the success of this partnership can then be done by assessing progress toward the goal. At one stage of the school-health service partnership, service provider members realised that their measures were peculiar to their service, and were difficult for community members to understand. The search for a common goal proceeds. As new partners are invited in by the community, it is expected that participants will find themselves becoming skilled at describing goals related to community well-being, as well as measures of the effectiveness of particular services.