Colourful row of houses in Baltimore

Community Indicator Systems

Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals empowers communities to act at the local level, observe the impact of their actions, share experiences with other communities and build new partnerships for implementation.

Community Indicator Systems (CIS) are online platforms that local actors can use to track issues that matter to their community.

CIS platforms track progress on local development goals in the global context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This “localization” of the SDGs empowers communities to take actions that matter where they live, observe the impact of those actions, share experiences with other communities facing similar issues, and share feedback with the international effort to achieve the SDGs by the 2030 deadline. 

IISD has developed the Tracking Progress tool that communities can customize to collect and visualize data on key issues of community well-being using maps, graphs and charts. Our team intentionally designed the site template to be easy to replicate in any community, regardless of size, reducing the costs and technical knowledge needed to build and maintain a powerful tool for evidence-based decision making.

Tracking Progress sites have been deployed in:

CIS platforms also enable communities to share experiences and learn from each other. Communities with similar challenges can draw on the lessons to engage in new collaborative efforts. Comparisons with other communities in the same country or internationally can provide outside validation of progress and stimulate a competitive spirit between communities. Donors and development partners can use the data to track the impact of their work and identify new partners.