Only in the world of finance is change driven largely by numbers. Increasingly, those who value other measures have to combine perspective with fact and date in order to get the attention of decision makers and would be supporters. Not as a substitute for purpose and motivation, but as an added foundation that demonstrates the change around us and the outcome of collective efforts and policy.
Over the past few years, much of the public agenda has shifted attention to young children. Personally, I’ve enjoyed working on several large and small Canadian initiatives in this area.
The leads on these projects combined research, child development, and community building skills. They collected reams of data, much still under analysis. What seems missing is a national collection of these. Such a resource would reduce unnecessary duplication, raise the bar on future efforts, and provide valuable support to those who turn study results into public awareness, action, and decision.
This US based non-profit research organization seems to have done it right. Examine the accessibility and current content of this, “…one-stop-shop for the latest national trends and research on over 70 key indicators of child and youth well-being, with new indicators added each month. Includes info on health, social and emotional development, mental health, violence, health care, drug, alcohol and tobacco use …”.
There may be few individual non-profits with the resources to mount such an effort, but surely a collaborating group of academic, government, and non-government organiztions could. The skills, projects, and results are there. Is the competition for scarce funding, fragmenting the potential leadership?