Methodology

We began with an examination of similar projects done by other communities, such as the OECD Better Life Index and Toronto’s Vital Signs project under the direction of Avalanche Consulting, a leading national development consultancy whose team has more than 50 years of experience as strategists for 100+ communities.

 

The Our Miami Advisory Committee includes representatives from a variety of community organizations in government, education, media, arts & culture, health care and philanthropy. Working together with Avalanche Consulting and the Advisory Committee, we identified eight priority issue areas that most affect the vitality and quality of life in Miami-Dade County (in alphabetical order):

ARTS & CULTURE
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
ECONOMY
EDUCATION

ENVIRONMENT & PUBLIC SPACE
HEALTH & SAFETY
HOUSING & AFFORDABILITY
TRANSPORATION

Then, we identified goals for each Issue Area and good metrics to track and measure success in reaching these goals. For example, one goal under Education is that “Miami-Dade Children Have Access to a Quality Education.” Several metrics were identified such as instructional expenditures per student and number of A and B-rated schools. In total, 77 metrics were identified across 21 objectives under the 8 Issue Areas. Finally, the committee helped select four benchmark regions to which we could compare Miami-Dade County and provide context to performance. Using two years of data provides us with a historical view to determine if the county is improving or falling behind in identified objectives.

 

Avalanche Consulting collected the metrics from local, state and national sources. Federal government agencies such as the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics provided much of the data for Housing & Affordability and Economy. The State of Florida provided a majority of the data on Education. We also looked at studies from respected third parties, such as the Trust for Public Land and the American Public Transportation Association. All data contained in the 2016 Our Miami Report is the most recently published, publicly accessible information with national coverage. Additionally, Avalanche Consulting prioritized choosing data sets with regular publication schedules so that the next phase of the Our Miami Report can be updated in two years with minimal variation to our methodology. Overall, every effort was made to remain objective in our interpretation of the data by using time-series data with national benchmarks.

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