Tracking Direct Income, Material and Food Support

Monitoring Support

A social enterprise may want to track who is being helped by direct income, material and food support activities. This could include tracking:

  • The numbers of people who receive support (possibly categorized in terms of different demographic or needs);
  • The kind of support they receive;
  • The share of people who receive support in the population you are targeting.

Monitoring Food Security

A social enterprise may want to track whether food security is changing for the community they target with food (and other forms) of support. Approaches could include:

  1. Asking the people you serve about their personal/family food security.
  2. Monitoring indicators of food security. The following sites might be helpful for considering what indicators to track (and potential sources of information):

Simon Fraser University's Centre for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD) has a program on food security. As part of this program they conducted a Vancouver Food System Assessment, which identified food security indicators in the context of Lower Mainland food security issues. (See Appendix M of the project for a list of indicators).

Health Canada, Discussion Paper on Household and Individual Food Insecurity. This paper identifies direct and indirect indicators of food security as part of a strategy to monitor food security in Canada.

Monitoring Economic Security

A social enterprise may want to track changes in an individual"s access to the resources, benefits and financial supports necessary to participate fully and with dignity in community activities. Approaches include:

  1. Tracking income levels of those you support against the relative cost of living in a region (poverty index).
  2. Tracking personal economic assets of those you target.
  3. Tracking increased knowledge and access to community supports, and knowledge and these of supports.
  4. Reviewing economic indicators at a community level. Statistics Canada has Census Tract (CT) Profiles which provide 2006 Census data for small geographic areas (including city neighbourhoods).

    The following websites monitor indicators relating to economic security (among others). These sources are useful for their information, and in understanding what indicators may be possible to develop, as well as data sources to use to develop your own indicators (if that region isn't covered):

    Vital Signs
    Community Foundations

    Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) - Alberta
    Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development

    The following indicators may be useful in creating a picture of economic security:
    - Poverty
    - Income Distribution
    - Unemployment
    - Underemployment
    - Paid Work
    - Household Work
    - Parenting and Eldercare
    - Free Time
    - Volunteerism
    - Commuting
    - Divorce
    - Crime
    - Problem Gambling
    - Educational Attainment
    - Disposable Income
    - Weekly Wage Rate
    - Personal Expenditure
    - Transportation Expenditure
    - Taxes
    - Savings Rate
    - Household Debt
    - Household Infrastructure