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Unpublished Paper
Measuring Success: Community Analytics for Local Economic Development
00 (2016)
  • Michael P Johnson, Jr.
  • Sandeep Jani, University of Massachusetts Boston
Main Street organizations are community-based nonprofits across the USA dedicated to local economic development through physical improvements, technical assistance to businesses, marketing and placebuilding. In this paper we identify metrics associated with success in local economic development and generate decision opportunities for improved program design and implementation. Our community partners, Main Street organizations in the city of Boston, want to ensure that data they collect about their service areas can help them measure progress towards achieving their individual goals as well as identify programs and initiatives that make best use of their resources and expertise. Using a mixed methods, inductive approach rooted in Keeney’s value-focused thinking method, we engage directly with members of local communities to identify priorities for local economic development. The result of our analysis is ‘values structures’ by which we identify performance metrics and decision opportunities. These analytic outcomes allow us to identify variations in values structures across stakeholder groups and communities, and to learn if certain types of economic development metrics appear to be specific to certain stakeholder groups and community types. By connecting core values of stakeholders with elements of decision models, and providing specific suggestions for data collection and decision alternatives, our findings may contribute to research and practice in community operational research,
local economic development and other domains.
  • Community data analytics; urban planning and community development; community operational research; community-based operations research; economic development; value-focused thinking; participatory action research; problem structuring methods
Publication Date
September 4, 2016
Under review at European Journal of Operational Research, special issue:“Community Operational Research: Innovations, Internationalization and Agenda-Setting Applications” (with Gerald Midgley, lead co-editor).
Citation Information
Michael P Johnson and Sandeep Jani. "Measuring Success: Community Analytics for Local Economic Development" 00 (2016)
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