Whether planning programs and services, or developing policies, timely, accurate information is critical. Likewise, an understanding of the historical context of social issues is critical to the development of effective strategies for positive social change.
Presenting data in a central source permits us to see the trends in the context of many other social changes occurring simultaneously. For example, that the Consumer Price Index and average rents have risen steadily, while welfare rates have fallen.
Most Canadian publications present data at the national or provincial level. Tracking the Trends data focuses primarily on the Edmonton metropolitan region.
A Tool for Decision-Makers
As a planner, policy maker or analyst, this collection of data provides a clearer understanding of the present and historical social conditions in Edmonton. This information can provide the background necessary to make informed decisions, and even the insight needed to anticipate future changes.
We encourage readers to use Tracking the Trends to assess how well governments are fulfilling their role in ensuring that its citizens have the support they need to maintain a decent standard of living.
A Tool for Social Organizations and Researchers
Much like decision-makers, the work of organizations involved in social development activities must be informed by the current and historical social contexts. The information in Tracking the Trends may prove useful for program planning, organizational strategy-building, as well as any other community development activities.
Students and researchers will also benefit from this rich and unified source of data to inform their research projects, which can penetrate the issues in much greater detail. Our hope is that such research will further inform social policy development.
A Tool for the Public
Public awareness is critical to improving the social inclusiveness of our communities. A better understanding of the challenges and inequities that our fellow citizens face can inform the way we think of and treat each other. Regardless of our socioeconomic backgrounds, we all share this city and region, and have an interest in its healthy future.