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Policy influence of indicators

EU Seventh Framework Programme, SSH-CT-2008-217208, 2008-2011


The use of indicators to monitor and evaluate the impacts of public policies in various sectors is becoming increasingly popular. Indicators are being used by governments at different levels, both by public and private organizations, nationally and internationally. Despite their widespread use, there is little research evidence of the types and extent to which indicators actually influence policymaking. This project aimed to fill this gap and improve indicator influence, by helping to better understand factors that enable and hinder the usefulness of indicators in policymaking. The project focused on indicators designed to measure sustainable development and the integration of environmental concerns into other sectors of policymaking. The POINT project began in April 2008, and ended with an international conference held in spring 2011. The various research components of the project focused on, amongst other things, indicators in sector policies and policy instruments, the influence of composite indicators, and the role of stakeholders. In relation to the latter, a Workshop on Measuring Sustainability was held in Malta in March 2009. The 4th POINT Project Meeting was held in November 2009, also in Malta, and was attended by delegates from the project’s nine international partners.

The project was being coordinated by the National Environment Research Unit of the University of Aarhus, and brought together nine academic and research organizations from Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and Malta.

A European Policy Brief issued in March 2010 on the Policy Implications of POINT can be accessed here, and further details are available at the project website or by contacting the Division of Environmental Management and Planning.

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