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Everyday Indicators for Policy Innovation

Everyday Indicators for Policy Innovation (EIPI) is piloting a rigorous and community-based approach that aims to fundamentally redesign how we ensure California’s public policies meet the needs of the communities they are designed to serve. Our process draws on the pioneering work of Everyday Peace Indicators and offers a new way to evaluate the success of policy reform, using metrics that reflect the outcome measures communities themselves prioritize.

In its first pilot project, EIPI is launching this work in the City of Oakland. This pilot project is designed to source everyday indicators of “community well-being” and “community safety” as they are perceived by those community members most impacted by public safety policy and reform. The EIPI team is collaborating with a diverse group of community-based organizations to conduct EIPI processes that reflect the demographic and geographic diversity of Oakland.

Central to this idea is an understanding that, in order to actualize meaningful public safety reforms that improve the well-being of communities, those most impacted by the current public safety infrastructure must play a key role in design processes. Individuals in under-served neighborhoods, especially minorities and low-income residents, have distinct experiences and understandings of what it means to be safe. In a city like Oakland, concepts like “safety” will have many different dimensions, likely stratified by geography, class, race, gender, and other factors. The EIPI process is highly attuned to these local differences.

The Everyday Peace Indicators process is a conceptual approach and field-tested methodology for generating participatory, “bottom-up” indicators of everyday life. Rather than imposing categories, meanings, and pre-defined choices as conceptualized by researchers or policymakers, EIPI’s methodology allows the construction of meaning to emerge from community members themselves in the context of their daily lives.

At the same time, the EIPI process helps translate the “insider’s perspective” into quantitative indicators. These indicators can then be used to craft a rigorous plan to identify, pilot, and evaluate reforms, ensuring that policy changes are authentically matching local priorities – in this case, the desire to create more safe and just communities.