SD Features
Sustainability Indicators
A Glossary of Indicator Terms

  • Benchmarking: A point of reference against which the performance of an organization can be measured.

  • Efficiency indicators: Indicators that measure the cost, unit cost or productivity associated with a given outcome or output. Example: Employee hours per ton of refuse collected; amount of money spent for cleaning one-km lane of street.

  • Goal: A general and broad statement of agencies long-term intentions based on needs of the community. The goal is defined without a time frame and is sometimes a bit vague.

  • Indicator: An indicator is defined as parameter, or a value derived from parameters, which points to provide information about the state of a phenomenon/environment/ area. It is a means to reduce large quantity of data down to the simplest form.

  • Input indicators: Indicators that report the amount of resources, either financial or other that have been used for a specific service or programme. Examples: The amount of labour hours of the sanitation department; the budget of sanitation department; number of vehicles; etc.

  • Objectives: Clear statements of an agency performance intention that are specific, well defined, and measurable within the given time frame.

  • Output indicators: Indicators that report the amount of work done or service provided to perform a function or carry out a program. They are also known as workload indicators. Examples: Tons of refuse collected; miles of road cleaned; number of customers served; etc.

  • Outcome indicators: Indicators that report the quality and quality of work accomplished or service provided. These assess the actual impact of an agencies action. They are also known as effectiveness indicators. Example: Percentage of clean streets (measured by periodical visual inspection or citizens survey).

  • Productivity indicators: Indicators that define dimensions of efficiency and effectiveness in a single indicator. Example: Cost per km of a clean street (total cost of all road cleaning/ total kilometres of clean streets.

  • Performance measurement: Performance measurement means the regular measurement and reporting of the performance of public agency programmes, organizations, or individuals. In the context of urban local bodies, it can be defined as determination of how effectively and efficiently a jurisdiction is delivering the public service of interest.

  • Strategies: Methods to achieve goals and objectives. These are the means of transforming inputs into outputs, and ultimately outcomes, with the best use of resources.

 Return to Sustainablity Indicators
Return to SustainabilityIndicators
Contact: Hari Srinivas -