2012-2013 Update: With an established framework for understanding and applying human dimension issues to watershed management in place, the “Social Indicators” initiative advances to the next level of organizing, coordinating and delivering trainings to water resource, conservation and extension professionals. Initiative leaders from University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University and Purdue University, with the support of the Great Lakes Regional Water Program, have already created a Social Indicators for Planning and Evaluation System (SIPES) along with the Social Indicators Data Management and Analysis (SIDMA) tool focused on polluted runoff.
Anticipated outcomes of this year’s funded initiative include an increased awareness of SIPES/SIDMA, increased knowledge of social indicators for watershed management by conservation professionals, increased use of SIPES/SIDMA for planning and evaluation of watershed management and the increased use of social data in watershed management efforts.
Social indicators for NPS management provide information about awareness, attitudes, constraints, capacity, and behaviors that are expected to lead to water quality improvement and protection. By measuring these indicators over time, water quality managers can target their project activities and assess whether their projects are accomplishing changes expected to improve and protect water quality. Monitoring social indicators, like monitoring environmental indicators, gives us valuable information about how well our management strategies are working.
Social indicators complement other environmental and administrative indicators to present a complete picture of project effectiveness. For assistance in developing this social component of the NPS Evaluation Framework, the regional state agency NPS coordinators have initiated this joint project in cooperation with land grant universities throughout the region.
For a full description including 2011 Initiative Impacts, download the Social Indicators FACT SHEET.
Follow this link for access to the Social Indicators Data Management and Analysis (SIDMA) tool, hosted by Michigan State University, Institute of Water Research: http://www.iwr.msu.edu/sidma/
PublicationsThe SIPES Handbook, 3rd edition, December, 2011 (5.5 MB pdf) Sample survey questionnaire for agricultural audience (464 Kb pdf) Sample survey questionnaire for urban audience (1.08 Mb pdf) Genskow, K. and Linda Stalker Prokopy. 2010. "Lessons Learned in Developing Social Indicators for Regional Water Quality Management" in Society and Natural Resources Vol. 23, Issue 1, Pages 83-91. http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a917377039~db=all Prokopy, L., K. Genskow, et al. 2009. Designing a regional system of social indicators to evaluate nonpoint source water projects. Journal of Extension 47(2): Feature Article 2FEA1. http://www.joe.org/joe/2009april/a1.php
- Region 5 multi-state Social Indicator Team established (Spring 2005)
- Team Contacts
- Core social indicators (49 Kb pdf)
- The draft document was circulated among NPS programs within Region 5 as well as external reviewers. Feedback led to important project adjustments.
- Pilot projects are occurring in each state in order to test the accuracy and usability of the core indicators, as well as provide opportunities to develop other methods and supplemental indicators for measuring the social component of the NPS management
- Pilot projects will be able to access the SIDMA website here when the model is completed.
- Development of these tools will be ongoing.
- Complementary and alternative methods
- Supplemental indicators that can be used with core indicators will be developed throughout the pilot projects phase.
- Supplemental indicators will be linked here as they are developed.
- Final Handbook for using the social indicators system (under development)
- SIDMA website
- Discussions between State NPS programs, USEPA Region 5, and the regional social indicators team will determine the nature and extent of ongoing support for the socialindicators system.
Complementary Planning and Evaluation ResourcesBelow are resources for watershed planning and evaluation that provide complementary approaches to assessing the social component of NPS management. Planning
- Identifying your target audience
- Social Assessment: For examples of broad social data applied to NPS assessment and evaluation, please visit the LaMoine report (846 Kb pdf) and the Vermillion report (1.18 Mb pdf).
Assistant Professor, Department of Urban
and Regional Planning
University of Wisconsin-Madison/UW-Extension
445 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Linda Stalker Prokopy
Assistant Professor of Natural
195 Marsteller Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907
The Ohio State University
This project is as a joint effort of the USEPA, state water quality agencies in Region 5, and Land Grant Universities through the USDA-CSREES Great Lakes Regional Water Quality Program. The project is supported through in-kind contributions from participating organizations, the USDA CSREES Great Lakes Regional Water Quality Program, and state funds provided through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Development of the social indicator framework involves collaborative contributions from the Regional Social Indicators Project Team, comprised of staff and faculty at USEPA, state agencies, and Land Grant Universities in the USEPA Region 5/ CSREES Great Lakes Region. The project was initiated under the leadership of the CSREES Great Lakes Regional Water Quality Program.