The issues , thoughts and beliefs of Sustainable Developement have already been discussed in many lectures but in week 10 the topic was not if we should implement Sustainable Development but how to track it’s performance. The solution is indicators. Indicators or Aggregated Indices , we were told are used sort of like scientific controls. They are pieces of informaton that are used to pass on or show complex pieces of information and to highlights trends of perticular systems. Indicators are used to manage and monitor huge quantities of information and to indicate wheather or not for example a new project has been succesful or not. No two indactors are the same as they should be relevent to the information needded or the results you are trying to gather for example . If a government was trying to measure the hapiness or standard of life of it’s people it may look at , proximity to health services , unemployment levels , education etc… Where as a company may look for info regarding new sales of a product and such areas as sales , is it competitive , do consumers like the product etc…


These two images show clearly how different indicators can give different results. Both are trying to protray the quality life index. In the above Ireland is ranked 1st where as France does not feature in the top 15 although is number one in the second graph. Table two shows a number of indicators brought together to try establish a scoring system for Life Quality such as

  1. cost of living
  2. leisure and culture
  3. economy
  4. environment
  5. freedom
  6. health
  7. infrastructure
  8. risk and safety
  9. climate.

These are the indicators this perticular organisation has choosen to give them a result for overall quality of life rating.

As we know Ireland is striving to become a frontrunner in establishing a society based on sustainable development. It is important that suitable indicators are chosen to accurately protry or not if it will be succesful . The  three most important and basic functions of Indicators are

  • Simplification
  • Quantification
  • Communication

The information must be attained in and my simple means as too avoid confussion as so it will be clear to have a proper analysis of these results. Quantification is essential as for large sacle projects such as monitoring Sustainable Development huge amounts of data must be collected and analysed. It is important that these information can be quantified to means by which peolpe can see and compare standards. Last but certainly not least is communication . In my opinion the most important thing about indicators is good communication as they must be easy to understand and easy to compare so that people do not get confused or receive in accurate conclusions from results.

For an issue such Sustainable Development , one must look at interactions between socio and environmental relationships , for these are the main issues where Sustainable Development is concerned. To go along with this the correct policies are also of the utmost importance . The policy cycle gives a very simple but important cycle on how to obtain the best policies.

  1. Select Policy: It is very important that a clear and obtainable objective is set for and guidelines are set out
  2. Implement the Policy: this is where Indactors will come into use as the policy outlined in stage one will take shape
  3. Understanding the issues: No matter what new policy takes place there will always be challenges that must be tackled and an essential way of combating these issues is to fully understand the problems. With a tricky subject such as Sustainable development there will be lots of problems to face as for one there will always be dissagrements between the policy makers and those most effected by the policy. In truth policys involving the environment will always have issues.
  4. Evaluate: This is where Indactors will come into play as they will be used to give feedback and results and help ‘evaluate’ wheather or not the policy has been a success or not.

The reason it is known as the Policy Cycle and not the Policy chain is that most policys never really end but more evolve or become improved. After evaluations are taking policy makers can find strengths and weaknesses and build on these.